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of a misdemeanor. 

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California History 

VOLUME LXI 1982-83 


California Historical Society 


The Chapel at Fort Ross: Its History and Reconstruction 2 


Bloomerism Comes To California 18 


Machines in the Garden: A Citrus Monopoly 
in Riverside, 1900-1936 26 


New Chicago of the Far West: Land 

Speculation in Alviso, California, 1890-1891 36 


Charles M. Scammon: From Seaman 
to Civilized Whaler to Naturalist 46 



Books Commemorating the Bicentennial 
of the Founding of Los Angeles 5$ 

Book Reviews 68 

California Check List 72 


Literary Associations With Mt. Tamalpais 82 


Disney's Independence Lake Project: A Case Study of 
California's Environmental Review Process 100 

by DOUGLAS h. stronc; 

The Tree That Crossed a Continent 120 



The San Diego Historical Society 
Research Archives 140 


Book Reviews 146 
California Check List 153 

NUMBER 3 — FALL 1982 

Great Expectations — William Swain, J. S. Holliday, 
and The World Rushed In 162 



In the Diggings 168 


The Giants and the Mountain — 

Mining Machines Make a Highway 188 

by dewey and nola mosier 

San Francisco's Fin de Siecle Bohemian Renaissance ig6 


Trampling Out the Vineyards — Kern 
County's Ban on The Grapes of Wrath 210 



Sources in Mexico for the 

History of Spanish California 223 


Book Reviews 22j 
California Check List 221) 

NUMBER 4— WINTER 1982-83 

A Kern County Diary: The Forgotten Photographs 
of Carleton E. Watkins, 1881-1888 242 


The Voyage of the Kanrin Mam to San Francisco 264 


Duelling Skis 276 


From Condemnation to Praise: Shifting 
Perspectives on Hispanic California 282 


The Byron Rail Disaster 292 


Will the Bay Bridges End San Francisco's Isolation? 302 



Book Reviews 306 
California Check List 309 
Volume Contents 321 
Volume Index 325 


California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society * 

spring 1982 




THE CALIFORNIA HIS I'ORICAL SOCIETY, founded in 187 1, preserves historical materials and facilitates their use by 
everyone interested in California's heritage. The Society's publications, programs, and library services seek to stimulate 
interest in and achieve a wider appreciation and knowledge of the historical events and ideas that continue to shape life in 
California today Membership is open to all. 

Published by the Society since 1922, California History magazine investigates the state's history from pre-Columbian to 
modern times. Illustrated articles, pictorial essays, and book reviews encourage examination of the ongoing historical 
dialogue between the past and present. 


Robert Banning, Pasadena 

Louis H. Heilbron, San Francisco 

George N. Hale, Jr., San Francisco 

Pamela L. Seagcr, San Francisco 



North Baker, San Francisco 
Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 
Mrs. Ernest Bryant, Laguna Beach 
Mrs. Robert B. Carter, Colusa 
Thomas W. Chinn, San Francisco 
J. Hewes Crispin, Santa Barbara 
George Ditz, Jr. , San Francisco 
James K. Edmund, San Francisco 
Dr. Iris H. W. Engstrand, San Diego 
Mrs. William Fielder, Atherton 
James R. Galbraith, Encino 
Stephen D. Gavin, Los Angeles 
James C. Greene, Pasadena 
Donald T. Hata,Jr., Sacramento 
Clarence Heller, Atherton 
Mrs. Harry Holmes, Pebble Beach 
Remi Nadeau, San Jose 
Richard W. Reinhardt, San Francisco 
Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Earl F. Schmidt, Jr., Palo Alto 
Mrs. Frank Simpson, III, Pasadena 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
Mrs. Daniel Stuart, Camarillo 
Hart Tantau, San Francisco 
Mrs. Norman B. Terry. Los Angeles 
R. Lockwood Tower, San Francisco 
Charles Wollenberg, Berkeley 


Mrs. Francis D. Frost, Jr., Pasadena 

Trustee Emeritus 
Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 

President Emeritus 
Dr. J. S. Holliday, San Francisco 

Director Emeritus 


Mrs. John D. Relfe, San Francisco 

Knox Mellon, Jr., Sacramento 

Historic Resources 
Richard C. Otter, Belvedere 



Richard Reinhardt, Chairman; Frank 
G. Goodall, Don Hata, William L. 
Kahrl, Gary Kurutz, Ken McArdle, 
W. Michael Mathes, Henry Mayer, 
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Pamela L. Seager, Acting Director 
Kurlon, Administrative Assistant; George 
Johnson, Staff Assistant; Sandra 
McPartlon, Development Coordinator; 
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PUBLICATIONS: Thomas L. Scharf, 
Managing Editor. 


Published quarterly: ©1982 by CHS 

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Publication number 084180 


The Chapel at Fort Ross on California's Sonoma coast 
exists today as a reminder of the Russian Orthodox 
faith and of the group of colonists who attempted the 
only Russian settlement within the present day 
boundaries of the United States. Built in the 1820s, the 
Chapel now standing at Fort ROM lias undergone 
several reconstructions in the past IjJ years. The 
history of this unique landmark begins on page 2. 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society 





Acting Director 

Managing Editor 

w. mic:hael mathes 
Reviews Editor 


Copy Editor 
Editorial Consultants 





The Chapel at Fort Ross: Its History and Reconstruction 2 


Bloomerism Comes To California 18 


Machines in the Garden: A Citrus Monopoly 
in Riverside, 1900-1936 26 


New Chicago of the Far West: 

Land Speculation in Alviso, California, 1 890-1 891 j6 


Charles M. Scammon: From Seaman 
to Civilized Whaler to Naturalist 46 



Books Commemorating the Bicentennial 
of the Founding of Los Angeles 58 
Book Reviews 68 
California Check List 72 

The only known historic sketch of Fort Ross at the time of its sale to John A. Sutter Tins sketch 
Y W as made by G. M. Waseurtz in 1842 and appeared ,n his manuscript 

A Sojourn in California by the King's Orphan. 

Diane Spencer-Hancock 
William E. Pritchard 

P-,1 >J 





/ // /f/r , ss ( 


The Chapel at 
Fort Ross 

Its History and 

High on a wind-swept bluffof the Sonoma Coast 
stands a small redwood Chapel of the Russian 
Orthodox faith. Dating from the early 1820s, this 
unique structure witnessed one of the most fasci- 
nating colonization attempts in North America — 
California's Fort Ross. 

To Fort Ross falls the distinction of being the only 
Russian settlement within the continental United 
States. Further, Fort Ross exhibits the most exten- 
sive remains — either original or reconstructed — of 
any Russian settlement in North America. In vivid 
contrast to the neglect endured by numerous 
historically significant sites elsewhere, Fort Ross and 
its Chapel exhibit a history of utilization and 
preservation which may be unparalleled in 
America — yet this site exudes an ambience and a 
quiet mystique all its own. How Fort Ross came to 
be constructed in this isolated place is unique in its 
own right, enmeshing all who visit in a story of 
ambition, profit, and hardship. 1 

Only two visitors to Fort Ross during the Russian period are 

known to have left any written statements regarding the 

religious practices of the colonists. Father Mariano Pay eras 

visited the outpost in 1822, prior to the construction of the 

Chapel, yet noted all seemed to conform to the sacraments of 

the Russian Orthodox faith. Father loann Veniaminov 

(opposite) visiting the Fort in 1836, stated that the 

Russians used the Chapel very little. 

Fort Ross was the ultimate expression of Russian 
eastward expansion across Siberia toward the 
Aleutian Islands and the Alaskan mainland — a 
movement not unlike America's own westward 
progress, although preceding it by a century. The 
ostensible motive for this Russian expansion was 
profit, for access was thus allowed to huge herds of 
fur seal and sea otter found in these northern Pacific 
waters. During the last half of the eighteenth 
century, Russian trappers and traders brought furs 
worth at least $16,000,000 to the markets of the 
world. Ultimately, through consolidation of 
numerous Russian hunting and trading enterprises, 
this profitable undertaking came to be the sole 
province of the Russian American Company. 

The Russian American Company, chartered by 
Tsar Paul I in 1799, was charged with tasks ex- 
tending far beyond the realm of trade. By its 
charter, the Russian American Company was 
authorized to utilize the coast of North America for 
its hunting enterprises and given the unilateral right 
to explore and colonize unoccupied lands to the 
south. Further, it was understood that the Company 
would control all Russian exploration, trade and 
settlement in North America. In view of the 
obvious westward expansion on the part of the 
Hudson's Bay Company whose own charter was 
similar to that granted the Russian American 
Company, as well as Spain's increasing international 
weakness, the Tsar sensed an opportunity to seize 
and consolidate a colonial position in a virtually 

Diane Spencer-Hancock serves as Historian to the California 
Attorney General's Office and State Lands Commission. 

William E. Pritchard is the Supervisor of the Interpretive 
Planning Unit of the California Department of Parks and 

Both Ms. Spencer-Hancock and Mr. Pritchard are the authors 
of "Notes to the 1817 Treaty between the Russian American 
Company and Kashaya Porno Indians" which appeared in the 
Winter 1980/81 issue of California History. 

unoccupied frontier of the world — with a minimum 
of Imperial expenditure. 

An initial step in the continuing expansion of the 
Russian empire in North America was the estab- 
lishment of a permanent Russian settlement to serve- 
as the Russian American Company's headquarters. 
This outpost, today's Sitka, Alaska, was established 
in 1799, and named New Archangel. A second step 
in this plan occurred several years later with the 
colonization of Alta California. These steps were 
admittedly geopolitical, yet there were other, more 
starkly practical reasons for Company officials to 
look enviously to the south: a desire to hunt among 
the numerous profitable herds ot sea otter located 

California History 

along the coast of Alta California — and starvation. 

Due to the harsh climate and a distinct dis- 
inclination on the part of Company officials to 
interrupt fur hunting expeditions — the principal 
source of profit for the Company — Russian settlers 
in Alaska were unable to grow the staples needed to 
teed their growing population. The Aleutian and 
Alaskan colonies were thus supplied by shipments 
of goods and foodstuffs from Siberia. During the 
exceptionally severe Alaskan winter of 1805-1806, 
the always difficult supply problem became critical, 
for no supply ships arrived from Siberia. Imported 
Russian foodstuffs were strictly rationed, then 
completely disappeared. The diet thus forced upon 
the settlers led to a high mortality rate from mal- 
nutrition and scurvy. This situation ultimately 
resulted in the voyage of Imperial Chamberlain and 
Company official Nikolai P. Rezanov from New 
Archangel to San Francisco in an attempt to secure 
food for the starving colony and, additionally, to 
propose permanent trade agreements with the 
Spanish. Upon his return to New Archangel, 
Rezanov urged Alexander Baranov, Governor of 
Alaska, to explore Alta California in order that a 
dependable food base for existing Russian American 
colonies might be established. 

Between 1808-1811, Baranov sent his chief 
assistant, Ivan A. Kuskov, on several reconnaissance 
trips to California to locate a suitable site for the 
desired colony. Using Bodega Bay as a base, 
Kuskov explored the surrounding area and finally 
recommended the Fort Ross location be settled. 
Actual construction of the Fort, or Colony Ross as it 
was called by its Russian inhabitants, began in 
March, 1812. The stockade was completed in the fall 
and the occasion marked by a special religious 

Colony Ross was constructed of native redwood 
and built in much the same configuration it retains 

today. By 1820, the interior of the Fort contained 
the Commandant's House (also known as the 
Kuskov House), the Officials' Barracks, quarters for 
the Russian employees, various storehouses and 
several lesser structures. The Chapel was added 
around 1824, although the exact date is not known. 

Structures were located outside the stockade as 
well. In addition to the dwellings of the Aleuts and 
native Kashaya Porno Indians, a windmill, various 
farm buildings, granaries, cattle yards, a tannery and 
workshops gradually appeared. 

The little Chapel built at Fort Ross in the early 
1820s has, over the years, become a visible symbol 
of the Colony, and one of the most photographed 
historic sites in the State of California. As such, it is 
certainly worthy of closer examination on both the 
physical and spiritual levels. 

Architecturally speaking, the Chapel reflects 
the culmination of a long evolution of style 
modifications in the religious architecture of Russian 
peasant groups. During the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries, the belltower and cupola were 
separate structures. Gradually, these two structures 
ultimately coalesced in the design seen at Fort Ross, 
with belltower and cupola integrated into the same 

The Chapel was build of sawed redwood planks 
utilizing a balloon frame technique with mortised 
and tendoned joints, while the walls exhibited a 
puncheon style of construction. The foundations 
consisted of twenty large pilings placed in a con- 
figuration of four rows of five pilings. A gin-pole 
placed in the center of the cupola facilitated the 
raising of the structure. The ceiling and interior of 
the cupola were sheathed in hand-adzed planking 
and secured with hand-wrought iron nails. 

The east and south walls of the Chapel formed the 
southeast corner of the stockade. Three windows 
were placed in the panels of the west wall, while two 

The Chapel following George W. 
Call's restoration in i8gg. Note repair 
of roof area and replacement of broken 
windows. The original wooden 
ledum and candelabra can be seen 
to the left of the door. 


small, circular windows pierced the cast and west 
sicies of the cupola. All windows are believed to 
have been glazed. The heavy main door to the 
structure was secured by wooden hinges, and 
opened into a small vestibule or narthex, which in 
turn provided entry to the main sanctuary. The altar 
was placed on the south side of the room, directly 
beneath the apex of the cupola. 

One incongruous feature was a short, wide plank 
door situated on the cast wall. When open, this door 
essentially pierced the stockade wall itself. No 
particular reason has been discovered for this 
anomaly, although a similar feature is known to 
have existed in the native Chapel constructed at 
New Archangel. There the outside entrance was 
used as the entrance for neophytes. The door in the 
Fort Ross Chapel may have been used for a similar 
purpose, for it opens directly onto the site of the 
Kashaya village known to have existed during the 
Russian occupation. 

In terms of size, the overall dimension described 
by Company officials Kostromitinov and Rotchev 
in their 1841 inventory was twelve meters deep and 
eight meters wide. 2 Another historical dimension 
appears in an early history of Sonoma County. This 
source noted that the vestibule was 10 x 25 feet, and 
that the sanctuary or auditorium was 21 x 25 feet 
— an overall dimension of 31 x 25 feet. 3 Archeo- 
logical evidence of the placement of the corner posts 
suggests the structure was approximately 31 x 24 
feet. Today there is some question within the 
Russian Orthodox community concerning the 
interior partition between the vestibule and 
sanctuary. Modern practice suggests this partition 
should not be there. However, all historical and 
archeological evidence points to the fact that this 
Chapel did indeed contain a partition. 

An inherent flaw in the design of the building was 
the construction of the foundation and main floor as 
one unit. The balloon frame and wall puncheons 

Following the 1906 earthquake, the walls and foundations 
of the Chapel were destroyed although the roof remained 
intact. This photograph shows the amount of 
displacement from the original foundation . 

were stepped upon this foundation, and thus pro- 
vided no structural strength during the earthquake 
of 1906. As the walls collapsed separately, the 
building failed and the roof fell as a complete unit. 

Considerable working skill and attention to 
construction detail was exhibited throughout the 
structure. One source stated: 

The roof was made of long planks, either sawed or rove 
from redwood, likewise the side of the Chapel in the 
Fort ... A faint attempt at getting out mouldings for the 
interior door and window casings was made, a bead 
being worked around the outer edge of the casing, and it 
was mitercd at the corners. 4 

With regard to building detail, the roofs of the 
cupola and belltower were of redwood shakes and at 
least one bell hung in the tower during the Russian 
occupation. There is no indication that either the 
interior or exterior was ever painted; the natural 
patina of redwood is of sufficient beauty that the 
Russians apparently needed no other adornment. 

Unfortunately, little documentation of the 
Chapel's interior appearance exists. Father Ioann 
Veniaminov, later Bishop of Alaska and Saint 
Inokentii of the Russian Orthodox Church, visited 
the colony during July and August of 1836, and 
recorded in his journal that the interior contained 
only two small silver-covered statues. 5 There are 
indications, however, that other furnishings may 
have existed, for St. Michael's Cathedral of Sitka, 
Alaska possesses three artifacts purportedly used in 
the Fort Ross Chapel: a silver goblet, ikon, and 

At the time of the Chapel's construction, it is 
known that Vasily Grudinin, a master shipwright 
sent from New Archangel by Governor Baranov to 
oversee the shipbuilding industry at Colony Ross, 
was in residence at the settlement. 6 During the 1956 
reconstruction of the Chapel, it became apparent 
that either Grudinin or one of his fellow shipwrights 

occasionally turned their hands to tasks other than 
shipbuilding. Construction techniques unmistak- 
ably similar to those used in construction of 
oceangoing vessels were found in the original cupola 
of the Chapel when the outer sheathing was 
removed. The nautical construction technique 
known as "ship's knees" was used instead of rafter 
construction to brace the roof, while the cupola 
windows were fitted much like portholes of ship's 
cabins. It is possible that Grudinin was responsible 
not only for the construction of the Chapel but for 
its design as well. 

Although information on the historical, physical, 
and architectural appearance of the Chapel exists, 
one aspect of its history which remains largely 
unknown at this time is that of its actual role in the 
lives of the colonists. It is interesting to note that of 
all the major structures within the stockade, the 
Chapel is the only one whose construction date is as 
yet unverified. Further, it was built at a time when 
no Russian Orthodox priest was in residence at Fort 
Ross; in fact, no record that a priest was ever 
permanently assigned to oversee the spiritual needs 
of the colony has been found. Today the Chapel 
holds such visual impact for the visitor, it is difficult 
to imagine that during Russian occupation it may 
have been considered a peripheral structure in the 
overall function of the Colony. 

On a spiritual level, there are numerous indi- 
cations that religion in general played an accepted, 
integral role in the lives of the colonists of Fort 
Ross. Indeed, one accepted fact of Russian coloni- 
zation in North America was the concurrent con- 
struction of churches with the trading establish- 
ments of the Russian American Company. 

At Fort Ross, we know a special religious service 
was held upon completion of the stockade 111 
1812 — suggesting the general importance of religion 
in the everyday lives of the citizens of Ross. Yet 


The original chandelier recovered by the Russian Orthodox 
community of San Francisco was rehung in the cupola 
following iqi6 reconstruction. The photograph below shows 
the interior of the Chapel following igi6 reconstruction. 
Members of the Russian Orthodox congregation in San 
Francisco were by this time utilizing the Chapel for special 
religious observances. 

Father Mariano Paycras, visiting the Colony in 
October, 1822, prior to the construction of the 
Chapel, noted there were no priests and asked his 
diary the cogent question: "Who administers the 
sacraments?" 7 Theodor Svenin, an officer of the 
Colony, informed Payeras that all inhabitants of 
Russian territory were both legitimately baptised 
and confirmed; moreover major liturgical cere- 
monies such as marriage could be performed only if 
no spiritual irregularities existed among the 

Father Payeras noted that a priest arrived at Fort 
Ross during his visit and took care of spiritual 
matters. Unfortunately, no mention is made of the 
faith or nationality of the priest, nor from where he 
came. Father Payeras did state that during the 
absence of one with spiritual authority, religious 
needs were attended to by the Commander of the 
Fort or the Governor at Sitka. 

Chapel following the igi6 
reconstruction. Note the four 
windows and side panels. 

Father Ioann Vcniaminov noted in his journal for 
1836 that upon his arrival at Fort Ross, the Colony 
was populated by 260 souls — thirty-nine of whom 
were converted Indians. Yet a curious ambivalence 
apparently prevailed among the colonists with 
regard to religion, for Father Vcniaminov further 
noted that the Russians rarely visited the Chapel. 8 

During his stay at Ross, Father Vcniaminov 
performed numerous pastoral duties. His journal 
indicates that he performed fourteen marriages 
twelve children's confirmations, confirmation of 
two adult Indians, numerous confessions, as well as 
a daily round of services including vespers, matins, 
and vigils. These services were well attended. It is 
therefore possible to conjecture that for these 
colonists, the Chapel was an outward symbol of an 
aspect of their lives whose thread ran quietly 
throughout all activities of the Colony. 

As economic conditions gave impetus to creation 

i i 

Tin Fort Ross Chapel undergoing 
the 1Q56 reconstruction 

of this settlement, so were they instrumental in its 
abandonment. The decimation of the fur seal and sea 
otter herds, coupled with the failure of the majority 
of the Russian agricultural and industrial 
experiments ultimately resulted in the sale of the 
property by Company officials to John A. Sutter 
in 1841. 

Sutter stripped the buildings and moved many of 
the accoutrements of the property to New Helvetia, 
his own settlement in the Sacramento Valley. A 
visitor in 1842 noted that ornaments from the 
Chapel as well as other furniture were piled near 
Fort Ross Cove awaiting shipment to Sutter's Fort. 9 
Fort Ross subsequently passed through several 
hands until 1873, when it was sold to George W. 
Call. The Fort proper remained in the hands of the 
Call family until March 23, 1906, when the stock- 
ade area, consisting of 3.01 acres, was deeded to the 
State of California following an interesting series of 
maneuvers. Fort Ross thus became one of the first 
officially recognized historic sites in the State of 
California. 10 

During the years of American occupation, the 
Chapel led a life atune with those pragmatic times. 
Although the religious nature of the building was 
remembered, during the last half of the nineteenth 
century it served its owners as a hay barn, storage 
shed — whatever necessity dictated. Yet the sound 
craftsmanship and solid construction techniques 
originally used on the structure enabled the Chapel 
to survive sixty years as a farm outbuilding in 
relatively good condition. 

However, by the late 1890s, George W. Call, 
astute businessman that he was, recognized the 
value of the Chapel as a tourist or visitor attraction. 
A newspaper report of 1899 stated that Call had 
completed restoration activities on the Chapel. 11 
Photographs of the period indicate that Call repaired 
the belltower, cupola and roof, re-hung the door 

and replaced broken windows. Further, he 
apparently made an attempt to gather together what 
he believed to be original furnishings of the 
structure. Two wooden pews found in the fur 
storage barn-cum-ballroom were returned to the 
Chapel, as were a lecturn and candelabra. 

Twenty-seven days after Fort Ross officially 
became one of California's first historic sites, the 
great earthquake of April 18, 1906 virtually 
destroyed San Francisco — and badly damaged Fort 
Ross. The Chapel, which had survived the 
onslaught of the elements for so many years, 

Yet from the chaos of the earthquake, the idea 
of systematic restoration of the Chapel — and 
ultimately of the entire Fort — was born. Although 
the walls of the Chapel had caved in completely, the 
roof itself had fallen to the ground almost totally 

Ten years were to pass before active restoration of 
the Chapel could proceed. Spurred by the efforts of 
the Call family, the State of California finally 
appropriated $3,000 in the fall of 1916 to aid in the 
reconstruction effort. 

The 1916 reconstruction of the Chapel consisted 
primarily of raising the roof with the belltower and 
cupola intact and building a new system of walls and 
foundations. Unfortunately, in order to provide 
timber which would match the original wood of the 
Chapel, the equally ancient Officials' Barracks was 
demolished. 12 Timbers from that structure were 
used as the main support of the reconstructed 
Chapel, while additional board lumber was obtained 
elsewhere for the roof and siding. 

Working without the benefit of archeological or 
historical research, the participants in the 1916 
reconstruction made several modifications to the 
original structure. Due to the earthquake damage 
sustained by the ceiling joists and roof beams, an 


extra wall stud was needed for support. This 
increased the number of panels in the south wall to 
four and due to this configuration, four windows 
replaced the original three. 

This embryonic reconstruction attempt also 
resulted in relocating the foundations slightly at 
variance with the original alignment of the building. 
Later archcological excavations indicated that the 
1916 foundations were somewhat out of alignment, 
i.e., sixteen inches at the northwest corner, eight 
inches on the east, and six inches to the north. 14 In 
addition, for some undetermined reason, the entire 
building was from eighteen to twenty-four inches 
higher than the original structure, necessitating 
modification of the porch. 15 

The Chapel, as reconstructed in 1916, stood 
basically unchanged until 1956. Despite its un- 
fortunate architectural errors, this reconstruction 
did result in the opening of the historic structure to 

the general public. Furthermore, following the 
building effort, members of the Russian Orthodox 
congregation in San Francisco began a tradition 
which survives to this day of observing special 
liturgical holidays in the Chapel built by their 
departed countrymen. Through their efforts, the 
original bell and original chandelier were found and 
replaced in the structure. 

Yet, with regard to overall dimensions, 
placement and number of windows, and height of 
floor sills, it became increasingly apparent that the 
Chapel did not conform closely enough to even the 
meager historical evidence known of its appearance. 
In 1956, following results of the 1953 archcological 
investigations, the decision was made by the State of 
California to renovate the entire structure in order to 
correct the errors of the 1916 reconstruction. 

Thus, in 1956 the building was shifted back to 
conform more closely to its original position. ( on- 


sidcrablc renovation of the interior was done as 
well, and the extra window and panel were removed 
from the west wall. But technical difficulties still 
marred the work, and in this reconstruction the 
floor level was raised even more than in the 1916 
effort. As a result, the floor sills and joists were as 
much as several feet higher than the original. Due to 
increased space beneath the floor at the rear of the 
Chapel, a basement was included. 16 

On October 5, 1970, the Chapel was destroyed by 
a fire of unknown origin, apparently started in the 
non-historic basement. During the following year, 
the sole remaining historic building, the Rotchev 
House, suffered nearly the same fate as the Chapel. 

In 1972, the Department of Parks and Recreation, 
already deeply involved in major historical and 
archeological investigations at the Fort, immediately 
made plans for a third reconstruction of the Chapel 
and recommitted itself to the total restoration of 
Fort Ross. The third reconstruction, completed in 

1973, based its efforts not only upon the extensive 
archeological data and painstaking historical and 
graphic research which had been carried out on 
the Chapel during the years following the 1956 
reconstruction, but upon records of previous 
reconstructions as well. 17 

The Chapel now standing at Fort Ross is as close 
in construction detail, alignment and configuration 
as exhaustive research can document. Although the 
historic fabric of the structure no longer exists, the 
spirit of this little Chapel has survived 155 years of 
hostile elements, neglect, pragmatic use, earth- 
quake, fire, and thousands of visitors to take its 
place as one of the most historic sites in California. It 
is truly the living symbol of Fort Ross, and a visible- 
token of commitment to excellence in the field of 
historical reconstruction. 

The photographs arc courtesy of the authors and the California 
Department of Parks and Recreation. 


It is almost certain that the Chapel was designed and constructed by one or more of the skilled shipwrights in 
residence at Fort Ross between 1818-1825. This picture, taken during the 1956 reconstruction of the Chapel, 
shows the interior of the cupola. These original timbers show unmistakable similarities to construction 
techniques used in sea-going vessels. 

A photograph taken in July of 1971 of archeological excavation done prior to 1973 reconstruction 
of the Chapel. The concrete piers are the footing of the 1956 restoration work. The square pits 

between the footings are the post molds of the original footings. 


California History 


Numerous works exist covering the history of the Russian 
American Company and that of Fort Ross. A recent publi- 
cation of the California Department of Parks and Recrea- 
tion, Notes Toward a Bibliography of Sources Relating to Fort 
Ross State Historic Park, by John A. Hussey, is the most 
complete compendium of sources to date. Several of the 
most definitive works in English are: 

Essig, E. O. "The Russian Settlement at Ross." 

California Historical Society Quarterly, XII (September, 

1933), pp. 191-216. 

Fort Ross. Indians-Russians-Americans. Text by Diane 

Spencer-Hancock, graphics by Michael S. Tucker. 

Bickford O'Brian, editor. Fort Ross Interpretive 

Association, 1978. 

Haase, Inez. The Russian American Company in California. 

Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of California, 

Berkeley, 1952. 

Khlevnikov, K. T. Colonial Russian America. Kyrill T. 

Khlevnikov's Reports, 1817-1832. Translated with 

introduction and notes by Basil Dmytryshyn and 

E. A. P. Crownhart-Vaughn. Portland: Oregon 

Historical Society, 1976. 

Okun, S. B. The Russian American Company. Translated 

by Carl Ginsburg. Cambridge: Harvard University 

Press, 1951. 

Schwarz, Harvey. "Fort Ross, California. "Journal of the 

West, (Spring, 1979), p. 40. 

Tikhmenev, P. A. A History of the Russian American 
Company. Translated and edited by Richard A. Pierce and 
Alton Donnelly. Seattle: University of Washington 
Press, 1978. 
Numerous works exist which discuss particular aspects of 
Fort Ross history, or which have a general bearing on the 
interpretation of that story. See particularly: 

Alekseev, A. / G. Voznesenskii. Moscow: Nauka 

Publishers, 1977. 

Bolkhovitinov, Nikolai N. Russian American Relations 

1815-1832. Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1975. 

Federova, Svetlana. The Russian Population in Alaska and 

California: Late 18th Century- 1867. Translated and edited 

by Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly. Kingston, 

Ontario: Limestone Press, 1973. 

Gibson, James R. Imperial Russia in Frontier America: The 

Changing Geography of Supply of Russian America. New 

York: Oxford University Press, 1976. 

Kushner, Howard. Conflict on the Northwest Coast. 
Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishers, 1976. 
Ogden, Adele. The California Sea Otter Trade, 1784-1818. 
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1941. 

2. Duflot de Mofras, Eugene. Melanges pare M. de Mofras. 
Vol. II. pp. 3-49. MS. in Bancroft Library. Translated 
by Nicholas Rokitiansky and edited by Diane 
Spencer-Hancock. Unpublished MS. in the History 
Center, De Anza College, California. See also Haase, Inez. 
The Russian American Company in California, Unpublished 
M.A. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1952, 

p. 37. 

3. Munro Frazer, J.D. History of Sonoma County, Including Its 
Geology, Topography, Mountains and Streams. San Francisco: 
Alley, Bowen & Company, 1879, p. 365. See also Haase, 
Russian American Company, Apparently the de Mofras 
translation of Kostromitinov and Rotchev's inventory of 
1841 is slightly in error. Archeological excavations in 1972 
revealed that the physical dimensions of the Chapel from 
the post molds arc 23' 8" x 31'. 

4. Munro-Frazer, History of Sonoma County. Several sources 
mention that Munro-Frazer's details regarding the Chapel 
are based on the notes of Earnest Rufus. Rufus, in 
partnership with William O. Benitz, owned Fort Ross from 
1847-67. Careful readingof Munro-Frazer's text, at p. 366, 
however, raises some questions that this is indeed the case. 

5. Veniaminov, Ioann. Petevoi Zhurnal sviashchennika Ioanna 
Veniminova vendennyi vo uremia puteshestviia ego v Kalijorniiu 
i ohratne a z-go iiulia po 13 Oktiabria 1836 g. Transcribed by 
M. Buranov. Extract in Bancroft Library from original in 
Alaska Archives, Juneau, Alaska, p. 1. See also Gibson, 
James. "A Russian Orthodox Priest in a Mexican Catholic 
Parish," Pacific Historian, Vol. 15, No. 2. 

6. Gibson, James. "Russian America in 1833." Pacific 
Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 2. 

7. Payeras, Father Mariano, pp. 42-43. 

8. Gibson, "A Russian Orthodox Priest," p. 61. 

9. Waseurtz, G. M. A Sojourn in California by the King's 
Orphan. Ed by Helen P. Van Sicklen. San Francisco: 
Grabhorn Press, 1945. p. 81. 

10. Fort Ross. Indians-Russians- Americans. Test by Diane 
Spencer-Hancock, Graphics by Michael S. Tucker, Fort 
Ross Intepretive Association, 1978, p. 27. 

11. San Francisco Examiner, July 27, 1899. 

12. Fort Ross. Indians-Russians-Americans, p. 34. 

13. Ibid. See also Pritchard, William E. An Archeological Study of 
the Chapel at Colony Ross. Report on file with Cultural 
Resources Unit, Department of Parks anil Recreation, 
Sacramento, California. July, 1972, p. 15. 


Chapel at Fort Ross 

14. Treganza, Adan. Fort Ross: A Study in Historical Archeology. 
Reports of the University of California Archeological 
Survey, No. 23. Department of Anthropology, University 
of California, Berkeley. January 15, 1954, p. 12. 

15. Pritchard, An Archeological Study, pp. 8, 14. 

16. Ibid., p. 8. 

17. Numerous unpublished historieal and archeological 
research papers regarding Fort Ross exist within the 
Resource Preservation and Interpretation Division of the 
California Department of Parks and Recreation. Some of 
them which have been identified are: 

Crandall, Thomas. The Story of Fort Ross. 1966. 

Pritchard, William E. An Archeological Study, 1972. 

Spencer-Hancock, Diane. Fort Ross State Historic Park 

Graphics Collection. 3 Vols. 1977. 

Thomas, Bryn. Progress Report. Commandant's House. 

1976 Field Season. 

Thomas, Bryn. Historic Sites Research at Fort Ross, 

California. Officials' Quarters. June, 1976. 

Thomas, Bryn. Progress Report, Officials' Quarters, 1976 

Field Season. 

Tucker, Michael S. Kusltov House Interpretive Plan, Phase 

I, 1977. 

Tucker, Michael S. Officials' Barracks Interpretive Plan, 

Phase I, 1978. 

Schwartz, Harvey. Fort Ross Interpretive Plan. 1976. 

Treganza, Adan. Fort Ross: A Study in Historical 

While no official reports on any of the reconstructions are 
known to exist, the files of Fort Ross State Historic Park 
contain much information, particularly regarding the 1956 
reconstruction, thanks to the efforts of John C. McKenzie, 
Supervising Ranger of the park for many years. 


Comes To 

Early in July 185 1 a dress shop on San Francisco's 
Clay Street was seen to be attracting an inordinate 
amount of attention. In the window was a figure 
dressed in Bloomers, the latest thing in ladies' attire. 
Mrs. Cole, the proprietor, herself wore a bloomer in 
the shop. "It is really very pretty," said the Aha 
California. "It consists of green merino, fitting well 
to the figure above the waist and reaching below the 
knee some 3 or 4 inches. Below this are loose, 
flowing trowsers [sic] of pink satin, fastened below 
the ancle [sic]." The report added that patterns were 
for sale and ladies had already placed orders for three 
of the daring costumes. 1 

The bloomer was indeed a radical change from 
woman's customary dress, at that time consisting of 
sweeping petticoats, as many as six and weighing up 
to fifteen pounds, apparently designed to conceal the 
fact that the female of the species had a pair of legs. 
The skirts were worn over corsets reinforced with 
whalebone and laced as tightly as the lady could 

The story of Mrs. Cole's shop was picked up 
by the New York Tribune. Under the headline, 
"Bloomerism in California," it noted the excite- 
ment caused by the San Francisco window display. 
A crowd of men, it reported, stood about the door 
and window all day and evening to get a peep at the 
lady in bloomers. "Persons were hired to enter to 
make a purchase, so as to draw her from the back 
room into a position visible through the window." 
The new style was "the most momentous topic 
which has excited the public mind for a long while. 
I should not be surprised," added the correspond- 
ent, "to see it generally adopted." 2 

Within a week the costume appeared on the street. 
The Alta reporter saw a woman crossing the Plaza 

Marion Tinting is a full-time writer in the field of women's 
history. Her article on Hermionc Day and the Hesperian 
appeared in the Winter 1980/K1 issue of California History. 


Marion Tinling 

"dressed in a style a little beyond the Bloomer. She 
was magnificently arrayed in a black satin skirt, very 
short, with flowing red satin trousers, a splendid 
yellow crape shawl and a silk turban a la Turque. She 
really looked magnificent and was followed by a 
large retinue of men and boys, who appeared to be 
highly pleased with the style." 3 One of those who 
followed may have been Alfred Doten, who noted 
in his journal that he "twigged the 'bloomer costumes, ' 
which are quite plenty now." A few days earlier he 
had been surprised and pleased to see pretty girls in a 
saloon dressed in the Turkish trousers. 4 

The Alta suggested that San Franciscans were 
predisposed to accept "bifidity" because they were 
used to seeing Chinese women on the streets in 
trousers. It could not resist poking fun at the 
fashion. "The adoption of the new dress," it said, 
"will destroy some of the poetical ideas which have 
associated themselves with the long skirts. The old 
couplet: 'Her feet beneath her petticoat / Like little 
mice stole in and out', will have to be changed to 
something like: 'Her feet from out her trouserloons / 
Hang like the cars from air balloons'." 5 

Alonzo Delano, in his California Correspondence, 
slyly remarked that the Indian women had greatly 
improved on the bloomer. "From neck to heels they 
wear only a small grass apron. This they say does 
not impede the free use of their limbs and is much 
more comfortable in hot weather; besides 'tain't half 
the trouble to dress and undress." 6 

The bloomer did not originate in the west but in 
rural New York state, and considering that Amelia 
Bloomer, whose name became attached to the 
costume, began to wear the "shorts" no sooner than 
March 1 85 1 , its transference to the west coast, 
complete with patterns, was remarkably rapid. 
Bloomer was not the inventor of the fashion. She 
had seen it early in the year worn by Elizabeth Smith 
Miller, who, it is thought, copied the short dresses 

A woodcut of Amelia Bloomer in the costume bearing 
her name appeared in her newspaper, The Lily, 
September g, 1851 . 


California History 

Women wore the pantaloons for a fancy dress ball at the California Exchange. 
Frank Soule published this woodcut in his Annals of San Francisco, 1854. 





worn by women in Swiss sanitariums. She wore the 
outfit when visiting her cousin, Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, in Seneca Falls, New York, the town that 
had just three years earlier held the first meeting in 
the nation called by women to discuss their civil 
rights. Stanton, chief organizer of that upstart 
convention, was delighted with the new style and 
adopted it at once. She wore it on a visit to the post 
office, where Mrs. Bloomer, deputy postmistress, 
made her office a gathering place for women, edit- 
ing there a paper, The Lily, devoted to women's 
issues. Bloomer, too, was intrigued with the dress 
and published in the March Lily an editorial in favor 
of it. 

The New York papers took note of Bloomer's 
editorial and it was reprinted in the London Times 
on May 31 . The costume was forthwith dubbed the 
Bloomer. Fashion magazines commented on the 
dress, and women by the score wrote to theLi'/y for 
patterns. By the summer of 185 1 the style had 
migrated not only to California but to London and 
Paris. "Sightings" were noted in Milwaukee, Battle 
Creek, Florida, Washington and throughout New 
England. All through the summer and into the 
following year the new fashion was treated as a 
major item of news, with papers taking sides for 
and against. The bloomer was adopted with en- 
thusiasm by women of fashion, but made its great- 
est appeal to health reformers and advocates of 
women's rights. The costume had, as a matter of 
fact, been worn by the women of the Oneida 
Community before Elizabeth Miller rediscovered it. 
Soon it became a symbol of feminism — a statement 
of freedom from restricting, uncomfortable cloth- 
ing, as well as from what women saw as man's at- 
tempt to enforce these and other restraints. 7 

With the papers so full of news about the fashion, 
it was not surprising that the bloomer quickly 
reached the west coast. Immigrants arrived in 

Soon it became a symbol of 
feminism — a statement 
of freedom. . . . 

California in great numbers every day, many from 
the eastern states, bringing with them papers and 
books, household goods and styles. Elizabeth Gunn, 
wife of Sonora's pioneer newspaper editor, arrived 
in San Francisco in August, where she was met by 
her husband. He had heard of Mrs. Cole's bloomer 
display and wished to visit the shop before they 
traveled on to the home he had prepared for the 
family in the mountains. She informed him that she 
did not want to take the time to stop just then; 
besides, she had a bloomer costume in her trunk. 
We cannot explain the fact that when she packed the 
trunk, before leaving Philadelphia for a six-months' 
journey around the Horn, the Lily's famous editorial 
had yet to appear. Perhaps Elizabeth made her dress 
after reading about the actress Fanny Kemble, who 
wore Turkish trousers publicly in 1849. If Mrs. 
Gunn was a reader of Bloomer's paper, she may 
have read in December of that year about Kemble's 
"dress falling a little below the knees, and loose 
pantalettes." 8 

In spite of her approval of the costume, however, 
Elizabeth was reluctant to wear it in the mining 
town. Writing to her sister in Philadelphia she 
confessed that she had not had it on yet, "but if you 
could see the dust here, you would think it was the 
dress for this country, both in wet and dry season." 9 

Women in the west had every reason to wish to 
do away with long skirts. In San Francisco they had 
to walk through mud or dust, depending on the 
weather. In 1851 only one street was planked. In 


Students at the Benicia Female Seminary were 

self-conscious when they had to wear bloomers for 

gymnasium exercises. They did not know that their 

principal, Mary Atkins, adopted the costume 

for her sea voyage to California in 1854. 

addition the walkways were littered with trash, 
garbage, tobacco juice and worse. All such flotsam 
was swept up by the long skirts. Washing was dif- 
ficult, if not impossible, so hems remained filthy 
and unsanitary. In the countryside and mining 
camps women were doing outdoor work where 
trousers seemed much more practical than long 
dresses. And if ever there was a time and place for 
short skirts, surely it was in travel before roads were 
built over the plains, through rough terrain and over 
the stony, brush-covered mountain trails. Wearing 
pants in such cases was less a feminist statement than 
an adaptation to a new and radically different life 

Such was the case with Eliza Farnham, who came 
to California in 1 849 to look after the estate her 
husband had left her. Before she came, she tried to 
enlist in the east a company of "intelligent, virtuous 
and efficient" women to migrate to the west, "be- 
lieving that the presence of women would be one of 
the surest checks upon many of the evils that are 
apprehended there" during the early days of the 
Gold Rush. Unsuccessful in getting a group to- 
gether, Eliza came herself with one friend and her 
two sons. The farm which was to be her home was 
in Santa Cruz. The dwelling there was a rough 
shanty without doors or windows. All able-bodied 
men had gone to the mines, so it was incumbent on 
Eliza to build her own shelter. 

"I commenced my new business," she said, "in 
the ordinary long dress, but its extreme incon- 
venience in displacing all the smaller tools, effacing 
lines, and flying in the teeth of the saw, induced me, 
after the second day, to try the suit I had worn at 
home in gymnastic exercises. It is the same that has 
since become famous as the Bloomer, though then 
the name had not been heard of. When I had once 
put it on, I could never get back into skirts during 
working hours." At first she kept a wary eye out for 

visitors, fearing to be caught so daringly attired, but 
soon she felt so comfortable in her working clothes 
that she forgot possible embarrassments. 10 

California women had already been seen travel- 
ing, or working in the mines, wearing trousers. A 
woman dressed as a man and doing a man's work in 
Jackson Gate was called "Madame Pantaloons." 11 
Wives wearing miners' pants and shirts toiled 
beside their husbands at the rocker. Mrs. Gunn 
found teen-aged girls in the Mother Lode dressed 
like boys to avoid the notice of woman-hungry 
ruffians. Though these instances were rare enough 
to attract attention, they showed that some women 



were courageous enough to adapt to the new en- 
vironment regardless of social dictates. 

Louise Clapp, whose classic Shirley Letters give us 
an unforgettable picture of life in the rough mining 
camps on the Feather River, talked to many women 
on their arrival in California from the east and 
thoroughly approved their adoption of the bloomer 
for travel across the plains, "frightful as it is on all 
other occasions." In a previous letter she had ex- 
pressed her dislike of the new style and the "strong- 
minded Bloomers" who wore it. 12 

"Bloomerism has done wonders for Oregon," 
wrote an observer in 1853. "All the women 
emigrants, who cross the plains, dress in that 
style." 13 As late as 1 860 a traveler reported that "the 
bloomer costume is considerably in vogue, and 
appears peculiarly adapted to overland travel." He 
described one woman so dressed who resembled 
"an ambulatory cotton bale, or a peripatetic hay- 
stack" as she walked and drove her oxen along the 
trail. 14 That same year the English traveler Richard 
Burton spoke of meeting, west of Fort Laramie, two 
ladies, one a Bloomer, "an uncouth being" in a dress 
and pants of brown glazed calico. 15 

Two women dressed in brown linen bloomers 
embarked in New York for California via Panama 
in 1854. A fellow passenger, Major Sherman, noted 
the laughter that greeted their arrival and made it 
his business to become acquainted with them. 16 One 
was Sarah Pellet, of Massachusetts, who was 
planning to lecture on temperance. She was a 
student at Oberlin College, active in the women's 
suffrage movement, and an admirer of Lucy Stone, 
one of the first eastern feminists to wear the 
bloomer. The other was Mary Atkins, who in- 
tended to establish a girls' school in California. The 
two had met at Oberlin, where both belonged to the 
Female Reform Society. 

Major Sherman admitted that the bifurcated 

Women, as well as men, 
decried the ugliness and 
sexlessness of the costume. 

costume was highly appropriate for riding mules 
across the Panamanian mountains, for ladies had to 
ride astride like everyone else. He advised the 
women, however, to abandon the bloomers if they 
wished to succeed in their new endeavors. Evidently 
they took his advice, for both succeeded. Mary 
Atkins bought the Benicia Female Seminary, where 
she imparted her spirit of independence to a gen- 
eration of young ladies. The seminary was later sold 
to the Reverend Cyrus and Susan Mills, moved to 
Oakland, and became the present great Mills 
College. Sarah Pellet was a major attraction as a 
speaker on temperance in Weavervillc, Sonora, and 
Downieville. She persuaded John Bidwell to give up 
selling liquor to travelers at his Chico hostelry, 
though she was less successful in talking John Sutter 
out of the use of booze. 17 

Amelia Bloomer herself brought the costume 
westward when she moved in 1853 to Ohio and in 
1855 to Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Lily then ceased 
publication, but the cause of dress reform was 
carried on by another paper published in New York, 
the Sibyl. Its editor, Lydia Saycr Hasbrouck, began 
by criticizing the early proponents of the bloomer 
for abandoning the cause. Most of them had given 
up the dress, realizing that it focused and per- 
petuated criticism of the women's rights issue. At 
the 1855 National Women's Rights Convention in 
Cincinnati, local newspapers commented with 
surprise that a few stalwart women were still in 
bloomers. 18 


The Bloomer migrated to 

England, where it was the subject 

of comic plays and songs. 

It was precisely because the short dress was 
adopted by Stanton and her friends, whose reforms 
were uniformly unpopular with the press, that it had 
been seized upon by critics to depict its wearers as 
strong-minded, anti-male, unwomanly and without 
charm. It became the butt of jokes and cartoons, as 
well as songs and comedies. Clergymen fulminated 
against the revealing dress and accused its wearers of 
assuming male prerogatives, favoring free love, and 
breaking up the home. Women, as well as men, 
decried the ugliness and sexlessncss of the costume. 
Anne Royall, journalist from Washington, con- 
demned it. "Do our sisters intend to part with their 
last and best Treasure — modesty . . . the sweet 
rounding waist, the unspeakable charm of a swelling 
bosom?" 19 Louisa McCord, a southerner, admitted 
that had the costume been the invention of a Parisian 
modiste, "imagined womanishly and worn woman- 
ishly, we would not have hesitated to recommend 
it." But as the rallying standard of women's rights 
advocates, she considered it unfit for a modest 
female. 20 

Among contributors to the Sibyl was young Julia 
Archibald Holmes, who joined a wagon train from 
Kansas to Pikes Peak in 1858. She kept a journal of 
her trip and sent extracts to the Sibyl for her "sisters 
in reform" to read. She believed she was "the first 
woman who has worn the 'American costume' 
across that prairie sea." She wore a calico dress, 
pants of the same, Indian moccasins, and a hat. (The 
brimmed hat, tied under the chin, instead of the 
frilled bonnet or sunbonnet, had become an indis- 
pensable adjunct of the trousers.) "However much it 
lacked in taste," reported Julia, "I found it to be 
beyond value in comfort and convenience, as it gave 
me freedom to roam at pleasure in search of flowers 
and other curiosities, while the cattle continued their 
slow and measured pace." She was quite disap- 
pointed to discover that the only other woman in 

her train abjured the freedom of pants and confined 
herself to "feminine impotence" in the hot covered 
wagon. After arrival in Colorado, energetic Julia 
became the first white woman to climb to the 
summit of Pike's Peak. 21 

Practical as the reform dress was for travel and for 
the multitude of indoor and outdoor tasks per- 
formed by active western women, they soon aban- 
doned it in submission to the dictates of fashion. It 
did not catch on with San Francisco ladies, probably 
because it was immediately taken up by the dance 
hall girls, who wore it in places like the California 
Exchange. Even women who lived among the mud 
and dust and prickly bushes in the mining towns 
clung to skirts. Elizabeth Gunn wrote her sisters in 
Pennsylvania for patterns for the latest in sleeves. 
The Hesperian, published by and for women in San 
Francisco, distributed the paper patterns for dresses 
just developed by Madame Demorest of New 
York. 22 California women followed their eastern 



counterparts in leaving the reform dress to health 
faddists and others like the Oneida Community 
women. They agreed with Dame Shirley who 
confessed "to an almost religious veneration for 
trailing drapery ... I pin my vestural faith with 
unflinching obstinacy to sweeping petticoats." 

The illustrations on page 19 and 24 arc courtesy of the New York 
Historical Society. The photograph of Mary Atkins and the dress 
ball woodcut are from the California State Library, Sacramento. 


1. Julia Cooley Altrocchi, "Paradox Town: San Francisco in 
1 85 1," California Historical Society Quarterly, 28 (March, 
1949), quoting Aha California, July 8, 1851. 

2. Charles Nelson Gattey, The Bloomer Girls (New York: 
Coward-McCann, Inc., 1968). 

3. Altrocchi, quoting Alta, July 14, 1851. 

4. Alfred Doten, The Journals of Alfred Dotcn, 184Q-IQ03, ed. 
Walter T. Clark (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1973), 
entries for July io and 15, 1851. 

5. Altrocchi, quoting Alta, July 11, 1851. 

6. Alonzo Delano's California Correspondence (Sacramento: 
Sacramento Book Collector's Club, 1952). 

7. Paul Fatout, "Amelia Bloomer and Bloomcrism," The 
New York Historical Society Quarterly, 36 (October 1952). 
See also Constance Noyes Robertson, ed., The Oneida 
Community (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1970). 

8. Fatout, quoting "Mrs. Kemble and Her New Costume," 
The Lily, 1 (December 1, 1849). 

9. Anna Lee Marston, ed., Records of a California Family: 
Journals and Letters of Lewis C. Gunn and Elizabeth Le Breton 
Gunn (San Diego: Reprinted, Donald I. Segerstrom 
Memorial Fund, 1974). 

io. Eliza Farnham, California In-doors and Out (Facsimile, 

Introduction by Madeline B. Stern, Nieuwkoop: B. De 

Graaf, 1972). 
11. Mildred B. Hoover, et al. Historic Spots in California (3d 

edition; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1966). 
[2. Louise Clapp, The Shirley Letters (Santa Barbara: Peregrine 

Smith, Inc., 1973). 






"The Oregon and California Letters of Bradford Ripley 

Alden," California Historical Society Quarterly, 28 

(September 1949). 

Louise Barry, "Albert D. Richardson's Letters on the Pike's 

Peak Gold Region," Kansas Historical Quarterly, 12 

(February 1943). 

Richard F. Burton, The City of Saints, and Across the Rocky 

Mountains to California (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1963). 

Allen B. Sherman, ed., "Sherman Was There. The 

Recollections of Major Edwin A. Sherman," (California 

Historical Society Quarterly, 23-24 (September 

1944-September 1945). 

Rockwell D. Hunt, John Bidwell, Prince of Pioneers 

(Caldwell: Caxton Printers. 1942). Richard Dillon, Fool's 

Gold: The Decline and Fall of John Sutter (New York: 

Coward McCann, Inc., 1967). 

"Lydia Sayer Hasbrouck" in Notable American Women, 

1607-IQ50, ed. Edward T. James et al. (Cambridge: Harvard 

University Press, 1971). Eleanor Rice Hayes, Morning Star: 

A Biography of Lucy Stone (New York: Harcourt, Brace and 

World, Inc., 1961). 

19. Bessie Rowland James, Anne Royall's U.S.A. (New 
Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1972). Theodore 
Stanton and Harriott S. Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton 
as Revealed in Her Letters (New York: Harper & Brothers, 

20. Margaret Farrand Thorpe, Female Persuasion: Six 
Strong-Minded Women (New Haven: Yale University Press. 
1949), quoting McCord. 

21 . Julia Archibald Holmes, A Bloomer Girl on Pike's Peak, 1858, 
ed. Agnes Wright Spring (Denver: Denver Public Library, 

22. Marion Tinling, "Hermione Day and the Hesperian," 
California History, 59 (Winter 1980/81). 


acbioes $f) ^% (Zjjapdei) 


A Lemon Sizer (or Grader) installed as an experimental model in the Prenda 
Packing House of the Arlington Heights Fruit Co., iSgg. 

Vincent Moses 

In 1895, according to the Bradstreet Index, 
Riverside, California was the richest city per capita in 
the United States, her wealth directly attributable to 
the Washington Navel Orange business. That 
industry covered 20,000 acres of the best irrigated 
land in the Riverside area in the year 1895. Promo- 
tional literature boasted that Riverside had become 
literally the garden of California, a veritable 
horticultural paradise. One trade and commerce 
publication argued: "The population of the city . . . 
is, socially, of an exceptionally high order, as 
evidenced by their refined and beautiful homes, their 
splendid educational system, and the wise and 
economical administration of the municipal 
government." 1 

Riverside, like the biblical Eden, however, was 
populated by human beings complete with all their 
natural strengths and weaknesses. The city thus 
held out opportunities for enterprising people of a 
competitive nature with a willingness to work 
hard (and sometimes to be ruthless). One major 
opportunity lay in the area of developing efficient 
machinery to help process the incredible expansion of 
citrus production in California. Mass shipment of 
perishable citrus commodities and the conversion 
of manufacturing from custom smithed tools to 
machine shop built equipment, therefore, converged 
in Riverside around 1900 with astounding results. 
Two men, in the process, grappled, fought, and built 
manufacturing empires. These mechanical wizards, 
Fred Stebler and George Parker, turned River- 
side — the Garden — into the world center for the 
construction of citrus packing equipment. Many 

Vincent Moses is Curator of History with the Riverside 
Municipal Museum in Riverside, California. This article arose 
out of research he conducted in preparation for the museum's 
exhibit, "Oranges for Health — California for Wealth:" The 
Riverside (Washington) Navel Orange and the California Dream, 
1 880-1980. The exhibition will remain in place through 1982 with 
occasional minor changes. 

A Citrus 
Monopoly in 





Patented Dec 26, 1916. 



Fred Stebler and his improved fruit separator 

(opposite) which was patented in igi6. It soon became 

a standard item in California packing houses. 

critics in the citrus industry argued that Stebler and 
Parker by 1921 had actually formed a tight monopoly 
over the manufacture of citrus machinery. 2 

George Parker's mammoth crate nailing machines, 
after all, dominated the market the world over. 
Those devices flowed steadily from the precision 
operated Parker Machine Works, known officially 
by that name since 1909, with little or no serious 
competition until Hale Paxton entered the picture in 
the 1920s. By contrast, Fred Stebler's California Iron 
Works (C.I.W.) held preeminence in the manufacture 
of machinery to handle and process citrus fruit, from 
the grove to the refrigerated rail car. 

Fred Stebler was born in Iowa December 28, 1870 
of Swiss immigrant parents. Altogether, he had • 
roughly three months of formal schooling. Most of 
his "learnin" came through the "school of hard 
knocks." Indicative of this fact were the years spent in 
the Dakota Territory living in a three-sided lean-to. 
Fred also limped all his life as the result of a broken 
hip received from a fall out of a hay rick. The break 
was not set properly but instead healed on its own. 
At age twenty, Stebler became an apprentice 
machinist and obtained eight years experience with 
different shops before his arrival in California. 3 

On July 5, 1899, at age twenty-eight, Fred Stebler 
stepped off the train into the streets of Riverside. 
He shortly bought a half interest in the Crawford and 
Fay Machine Shop and by 1902 became sole 
proprietor. In 1903, he took in Austin Gamble and 
they associated under the title of California Iron 
Works. This partnership lasted until 1909 when 
Stebler again became sole owner of C.I.W. His 
second sole proprietorship held until January 1 , 1921 . 4 

By the end of his career, Stebler had obtained 
around forty patents on various fruit processing 
apparatus. Among those devices were sizers, 
conveyors, washers, dryers, clamp trucks, elevators, 
dumpers, labelers, railroad car squeezers, separators, 

and fruit distributors. A great deal of Stebler's success 
derived from his close work with fruit packers early 
in this century. Their work together gradually led to 
a standardized packline layout. The final layout, of 
course, usually contained a large percentage of 
Stebler machinery. Along with the fruit distributor, 
conveyors, and other patent items, Stebler's fruit 
sizers dominated packlincs in most citrus packing 
houses up to the consolidation with George Parker. 
Despite a high degree of success, Stebler and his 
machinery were not always universally appreciated 


( California History 

This attitude arose partly from what contemporaries 
described as Stebler's abrasive and cantankerous 
personality, and partly from his autocratic business 
practices. F.N. Dunbar, Manager of La Mesa Packing 
Company, Riverside, wrote to a packer in Orange 
County as early as 1909 concerning Stebler and 
C.I.W. machinery. Dunbar complained: "We long 
ago, learned better than to expect the machinery that 
he put out to be properly constructed. We also 
learned that unless you wanted to be insulted it was 
not best to go to him with any complaints or 
suggestions .... I suppose that if it were impossible 
for us to obtain machinery elsewhere we might call 
on Mr. Stebler, otherwise, never." 5 

In 1909, the year Stebler became sole proprietor of 
C.I.W., George Parker opened his Parker Machine 
Works. Initially he made only the huge nailing 
apparatus, but encouraged by Stebler's critics, such as 
F.N. Dunbar, Parker entered the field of citrus 
processing machinery in direct competition with 
C.I.W. He ultimately gained patents on sizers, 
separators, conveyors, washers, dumpers, and 
elevators and with them cut into Stebler's market. 
The legal fur really flew. Stebler accused Parker of 
intentional and willful disregard of Stebler patents 
and sued him at every opportunity. The litigation 
continued unabated for ten years. Riverside's paper 
hardly went a day without reporting a charge or 
counter charge lodged by one or the other of these 
warriors. As Tom Patterson, journalist and local 
historian stated: "The titans described each other in 
Corral Five language." 6 

Ruinous losses incurred through this constant 
patent litigation, coupled with a post war economic 
slump, led W.B. Clancy, President of Citizens 
National Bank, to persuade the two war horses to 
consolidate their citrus processing machinery 
businesses. The merger became official January 1, 
1921 under the title The Stebler-Parker Company. 

Parker retained his nailing machine line over at the 
Parker Machine Works. 7 Years later Stebler com- 
mented on the merger: 

This was not as satisfactory as I would have liked . . . 
However, this arrangement was desirable because it 
eliminated the terrible expense we had both been through 
because of the continued litigation arising out of patent 
controversies, almost all of which were brought about by 
his insisting on appropriating my exclusive rights to 
inventions most of which were my own inventions. 

He went on to argue that: "While I was successful in 
all cases of litigation against him, this did not stop 
him, so it was a case of vital importance that I resort 
to other means, which was this combination." 8 
Even the critics, however, had to admit that 
Stebler's C.I.W. had been preeminent in the design 
and manufacture of citrus processing equipment. 
Moreover, most of the patents on C.I.W. machinery 
had been sustained in court. The merger, therefore, 
occurred for reasons of economic survival. Herein- 
after presented are descriptions of the three more 
hotly disputed patented machines from the C.I.W. 
repertoire, 1900 to 1921. 


Grades and sizes of fruit are still important in the 
marketing of citrus commodities. The machinery 
used to size fruit is axiomatic in all modern packing 
houses, but this was not the case around 1900. Fred 
Stebler's entry into the problem of efficient citrus 
sizing resulted in the design and patenting of an 
improved labor saving fruit sizer. James R. Rogers, 
Solicitor of Patents and Infringement Lawyer from 
Los Angeles, sent Stebler his Letters Patent #709,613, 
dated September 23, 1902 on September 29, of that 
same year. The Patent Office had granted Stebler all 
nine claims for his fruit grader (sizer). 9 

"This invention relates to apparatus for sizing or 
grading fruit," the Letters Patent acknowledged. 


Rope and Roll Orange Sizer (0.1925). Manufactured 
and sold by the consolidated Stebler-Parker Co., 
Riverside, California. 

"An object of the invention is to provide or impart a 
rotary motion to the fruit, so that the same will be 
sized or graded closer by reason of the difference in 
dimensions of the fruit in different parts." It was 
also "an object of this invention to provide a 
longitudinally-stationary but laterally-yielding 
surface to the fruit . . ." 10 

This machine sized or graded fruit by having it 
placed upon a feed table (see photo on page 26), 
from where it was fed into the apparatus and picked 
up by the "endless" conveyors and pushed into 
contact with stationary tubes. While spinning, the 
citrus fruit reached a point where it was no longer 
supported by the tube and conveyor. At that 
juncture, the fruit dropped onto an inclined canvas 

and was discharged laterally from the sizer into a 
waiting bin. 11 

Today, the state of the art in fruit sizing is possible 
because of Stebler's early efforts. FMC Corporation's 
latest apparatus, the Tri-Roll Sizer, is an indirect 
descendant of Stebler's 1902 Rope and Roll model. 


Stebler invented other sizing devices including the 
drop-roll fruit and olive sizer (1942), but according to 
his own words, found inked along the margin of 
his Letters Patent (received December 21, 1909) 
the Distributing Apparatus "was of grater [sic] 
importance to me and made more money than any 
other and was sustained in court." 12 Further evidence 
in Stebler's handwriting in the margins of this Letters 
Patent establishes that his court reference was in 
regard to a major lawsuit against George Parker for 
patent infringement. Stebler apparently won this case 
outright and the device made him a lot of money. 

According to Stebler's Letters Patent: "This 
invention relates to means for carrying or distributing 
fruit, and is particularly designed for use in con- 
nection with a fruit sizer or grader, and has for its 
general object the provision of simple and efficient 
means whereby the several grades or sizes of fruits, 
such ... as oranges, may be conducted to wide bins 
suitably spaced along the floor of a packing house so 
as to provide sufficient room at the sides of the bins 
for the fruit packers to work." 13 The apparatus was 
also designed to work well in tandem with a short or 
small grader or sizer, "and still deliver the separated 
or sized fruit in bins of such width as to provide easy 
access . . . for packers." Moreover, if oranges were 
running heavily to one or two sizes, the conveyor 
was capable of depositing a single size fruit into 
several adjacent bins for efficient handling. The 
machine came with adjustable partitions for the bins 
to suit the packers' immediate requirements for bin 


Smudge I'ot (Orchard Heater) Maker. Manufactured 
for Riverside Sheet Metal Works by Stebler-Parker 
Co. to help them meet the increased demand for 

orchard heaters that developed in the wake 
oj the 1913 freeze. 

Rail Car Squeezer (Squeeze) c.1925. This device 
was developed by Stebler's California Iron Works as a 
way to facilitate the loading of full orange crates into 
the standard refrigerated rail car. Crates were loaded 
and stacked into either end of the car by hand until just 
enough room remained to accommodate the squeeze. 
At that point this device was wheeled on board and the 
steel bumpers were jacked outward to provide a few 
inches of extra space for the remaining crates. 

Citrus Machines 

room to secure the various sizes of fruit. 

Stebler's Distributor was constructed to sit on a 
slight incline so that gravity would move the fruit 
down the conveyor line. Tender fruit skins were 
protected in this way against abrasions that would 
have resulted from mechanical or forced conveyance 
down the line. 14 Stebler's Distributor can be seen in 
almost every historic packinghouse photograph 
taken after 1909. It became an overnight success in 
spite of the disdain many packers held for Stebler 


The worst winter in the history of California citrus 
growing hit in 1913. That great three-night freeze 
happened in January and the thermometer at the old 
Citrus Experiment Station registered lows of I5°F. 
The lowest temperatures navels can handle, without 
incurring severe damage, are around 27-28°F. 
Although most of the navel crop was ruined in 191 3, 
some of the crop would have been salvageable. But 
how? No effective method had yet been devised! 15 

At this point, Frank F. Chase, one of the founders 
of National Orange Company, experimented with 
water separation based upon the specific gravity of 
citrus fruit. The idea was that undamaged fruit would 
sink and frosted fruit would tend to float. Chase 
apparently placed the initial concept into the public 
domain. In 191 5, however, Chase assigned his rights 
to an improvement in the basic design to Fred 
Stebler. The improved fruit separator was patented 
December 26, 1916 as #1,209,900. It soon became a 
standard item in California packing houses. 

The object of this invention, aside from making 
C.I.W. more money, was to "overcome inaccuracies 
in the separation of fruit bodies of different sizes, 
shapes, and specific gravities . . . regardless of their 
size and shape ..." A further object was to provide a 
way of submerging all the "fruit bodies singly and in 

predetermined spaced relations to one another to a 
common point in the circulating liquid and release all 
the fruit bodies from submergence at said common 
point in advance of the separating member . . ." 
Common point submergence was induced so that the 
fruit would rise accurately according to its specific 
gravity at predetermined angles so as to pass over or 
under the separating member. In this manner, frost 
damaged citrus would be effectively separated from 
good fruit. 16 This patent principle eventually became 
the standard for frost damaged fruit separators 
and later was manufactured by Food Machinery 
Corporation as well as by C.I.W. and the Stebler- 
Parker Company before F.M.C. 

Although John Brown and James Boyd, History of 
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, stated in 1922 
that the merger of Stebler and Parker was deemed 
beneficial to the industry, citrus packers came to view 
the event in a different light. Many of them felt the 
Stebler-Parker Company, in tandem with Parker 
Machine Works, constituted a real monopoly on the 
manufacture of citrus machinery. As Dana Kcech, 
former patent attorney for Hale Paxton and later 
Food Machinery Corporation, related in an 
interview: "The California Citrus League, made up 
of the California Fruit Growers Exchange (Sunkist), 
Mutual Orange Distributors (Pure Gold), and 
American Fruit Growers (Blue Goose), considered 
the Stebler-Parker Company a monopoly based on 
their control of patents." As Kcech went on to say, 
"The Citrus League considered this a heavy burden 
on packers. The League wanted a free market in 
citrus machinery so packers could not be compelled 
to purchase non-patented accessories just in order to 
obtain one item of patented equipment." 17 

Keech had gone to work for the California Citrus 
League in 1926 as Packing House Equipment 
Development Manager. His job as a patent lawyer 


( alifomia History 

was to investigate the Stcbler-Parkcr patents and to 
stimulate competition in the citrus machinery 
market. He was authorized to do this in order to 
break what the Citrus League viewed as the "strangle- 
hold Stebler-Parker had on the industry." One of the 
methods at his disposal involved the filing of patent 
applications by competitors of machinery made by 
Stebler-Parker Company and Parker Machine 
Works. Keech would review and file appropriate 
competing patent applications for a fifteen percent 
royalty payment to the Citrus League. In order to 
accomplish his goal, Keech compiled a list of all 
manufacturers of food machinery in the United 
States. By 1928 he had made contact with John Bean 
Manufacturing Company, Sprague-Sells Corpora- 
tion, and Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing 
Company, and had invited them to Southern 
California to inspect the citrus industry. The intent 
was to get them interested in entering citrus 
machinery manufacturing in competition with 
Stebler-Parker. 18 

Unfortunately, according to Keech, his idea 
backfired (here the record gets hazy). The three big 
companies accepted his invitation, but somewhere 
along the line decided among themselves that a 
merger into one large corporation made more sense 
than expanding their competitive lines against one 
another. Sometime in early 1929, the major packers 
of California were invited to the Elite Restaurant in 
Los Angeles for dinner and a discussion of the 
Riverside monopoly and how a new Food Machinery 
Corporation could help packers. At that dinner 
meeting, Ogden Sells, Sprague-Sells Manufacturing 
Company, made an impressive case for the new 
corporation and how it would help modernize 
equipment lines to suit the packing house needs of the 
future. As Keech pointed out, all Sells wanted was to 
get the go ahead for this proposed corporation to 
purchase the "monopoly" in Riverside! "They went 

for it lock, stock, and barrel," Keech said, "and 
wound up with a bigger monopoly yet." 19 

The corporate merger was consummated in late 
spring of 1929 after Stebler convinced Parker of the 
wisdom in selling to the new conglomerate. Parker 
was happy to sell. His Machine Works business was 
taking more and more of his time anyway due to a 
new patent war over nailing machines. Hale Paxton, 
Dana Keech's future client, had invaded Parker's 
territory with abandon. The legal sparks flew once 
again, but no longer in the realm of citrus processing 
equipment. The new Food Machinery Corporation 
saw to that. Fred Stebler was named manager. 

The July 1929 issue of The California Citrograph 
carried a full page ad announcing the formation 
of Food Machinery Corporation through the 
consolidation of the Stebler-Parker Company with 
John Bean Manufacturing Company, Anderson- 
Barngrover Manufacturing Company, and the 
Sprague-Sells Corporation. Then in the October 
issue of the Citrograph, an ad appeared geared to 
reassuring citrus packers that Food Machinery 
Corporation would live up to Ogden Sells' promise. 
The ad read in part: "Our plans call for a definite 
program of progress and cooperation. Progress in the 
development of fruit handling equipment to keep 
pace with the ever-growing demand for speed, 
efficiency, and quality output." 20 

By late October 1929, Stebler and the other 
"Food" leaders had managed to purchase the Pioneer 
Brush Company and Roberts and Huntington 
Company to consolidate with Stebler-Parker Com- 
pany under the title, Citrus Machinery Company, a 
Division of Food Machinery Corporation. Those 
firms comprised the only real competitors to 
Stebler-Parker Company and were now a part of the 
conglomerate. Further, under Fred Stebler's 
management, the existing patents were improved 
and so was Food Machinery Corporation's hold on 


Citrus Machines 

the citrus machinery market. In 1936, after George 
Parker's death (193 1), FMC purchased the Parker 
Machine Works and patent rights in an estate 
liquidation sale. A short time later in 1936 they 
negotiated the purchase of the Paxton Nailing 
Machine Company. Food Machinery Corporation, 
Citrus Machinery Division, under Fred Stebler 
thereby gained almost airtight control over every 
major aspect of citrus machinery production. 

Fred Stebler retired as manager of Food Machinery 
Corporation, Citrus Machinery Division, in 1937, 
though he maintained close contact with the 
organization for years afterward. From time to time, 
the company bought inventions from him. One in 
particular, the drop-roll olive sizer (1941-42), became 
quite successful. The patent application and purchase 
agreement were handled by none other than Dana 
Keech who was then patent attorney for FMC. By 
contrast, Stebler's nemesis, George Parker, died in 
193 1 at age fifty-two while embroiled in yet another 
patent suit, and Hale Paxton suffered a fatal heart 
attack in 1937. At the time he was Manager of the 
Nailing Machine Division of Food Machinery 
Corporation and only thirty-eight years old. Stebler 
himself died in 1957 after profiting mightily on 
capital increases in his FMC stock — he was 
eighty-six years old. 


John Brown and James Boyd, History of San Bernardino and 

Riverside Counties (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 

1922), II, p. 902. 

F.N. Dunbar to W.H. Schureman, January 11, 1909, from 

the Letter File of the La Mesa Packing Co., letter #646. In 

the Riverside Municipal Museum Collection. 

Patterson, "Three 2-Fisted Inventors," #2. 

Interview with Roy Haglund, retired vice president with 

the Citizens National Bank, Riverside, California, March 

1980. Mr. Haglund also serves as the president of the 

Riverside Historical Society. 

Quoted in Patterson, "Three 2-Fisted Inventors," #4 

(March 5, 1959). 

James R. Rogers to Fred Stebler, September 29, 1902. In the 

Riverside Municipal Museum Archive. 

Letters Patent #709,613, United States Patent Office, 

September 23, 1902. Issued to Fred Stebler. 


Letters Patent #943,799, United States Patent Office, 

December 2, 1909. Issued to Fred Stebler. 



Tom Patterson, "Out of Our County's Past," 

Press- Enterprise (June 21, 1981): B-2. 

Letters Patent #1,209,900, United States Patent Office, 

December 26, 1916, Lines 60-81. Issued to Fred Stebler. 

Interview with Dana Keech, June 9, 1981, Riverside 

Municipal Museum Conference Room. Interview 

conducted by the author. 



The California Citrograph (October 1929): 5 34. 

All of the photographs are courtesy of the Riverside Municipal 


1 . Trade and Commerce Pamphlet, Riverside Municipal 
Museum Archive (c.1895). 

2. Tom Patterson, "Three 2-Fisted Inventors," five articles in 
the Press-Enterprise (March 1-6, 1959):!. 

3. Ibid. 


James R. Curtis 

"New Chicago of the Far Wegt 

Land Speculation in 
Alviso, California, 1890-1891 

Even a passing examination of the motives, oper- 
ative process, and resulting patterns of settlement 
along the American frontier in the nineteenth 
century, must include mention of the important 
role played by the seemingly omnipresent land 
speculator-promoter. Paul Wallace Gates, an 
acknowledged authority on land speculation, has 
concluded that ". . .so dynamic a part did he [the 
speculator] play in shaping land and cultural patterns, 
that it is difficult to imagine an American frontier 
without him." 1 

Our stereotyped image of the land speculator, as 
portrayed best in western mythology and folklore, 
casts him as the perennial villain, a mustachioed, 
cunning, dastardly perpetrator of evil and no good. 
Yet, in reality, the lure of a lodestone to quick profits 
prompted a host of folk, from the most virtuous 
pioneer to the most unscrupulous company, to 
speculate in land. Whether company sponsored or 
individual initiative, however, land speculation 
remained speculation, a gamble, which in more cases 
than not ended in financial failure for the speculator. 
Bogue and Bogue comment that ". . . one can hardly 

study the body of literature bearing on speculator 
profits without concluding that speculation in 
western lands was usually a losing business." 2 
Nevertheless, like all gaming activities, the tales of 
"bonanza" imbued the minds and souls of many, 
urging them to speculate despite the unfavorable 
odds. And, once committed to the task, the limits of 
their endeavors to attain success knew no bounds. 
Promotional advertising with fanfare, embellishment 
of facts, outright bribery, and chicanery were all 
orders of the day. 

Yet, it is the conveyance of this very flamboyant 
spirit, which bordered often on melodrama, that 
breathes life into the subject of land speculation and 
helps one gain a clearer perspective on why this 
process was so fundamental in the settlement of the 
West. The countless failures notwithstanding, the 
lasting import of land speculation on existing patterns 
of land ownership, town layout, location of 
transportation lines, and establishment of county 

James R. Curtis is Assistant Professor of Geography at the 
University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. 


A group portrait of employees of the San Jose Watch Factory, built as part oj the 
New Chicago plan. It remained in business only one day. 

California History 

scats, to name only a few, cannot be underestimated. 

One of the most outlandish land speculating and 
promoting schemes perhaps ever perpetrated on the 
West Coast took place between 1890 and 1891 in 
Alviso, California. A small port town, Alviso is 
located at the extreme southern tip of San Francisco 
Bay where the meandering Guadalupe River de- 
bouches into the bay after draining much of the 
northern Santa Clara Valley. The scale of this scheme 
may be illustrated simply by its name — New 
Chicago — indeed, a "New Chicago of the Far West." 
Although it ultimately failed, street patterns and 
names still exist on the cultural landscape as re- 
minders and remainders of the events which took 
place there during the early 1890s. The failure of this 
scheme in no way diminishes its historical 
importance as a case study illustrative of the pervasive 
spirit of land speculation and promotion in late 
nineteenth century California. 

The plan for a New Chicago at the port of Alviso 
was the brainchild of an extraordinarily clever and 
imaginative promoter named P. H. Wheeler. The fall 
of 1889 found Wheeler searching for a suitable site in 
California to relocate a defunct watch factory in 
southern San Diego County that he was in the 
process of buying. Lacking sufficient capital to pur- 
chase land in an established industrial area, he needed 
a location where land values were low, but which 
offered potential for growth. His search led to 

Beginning with the earliest days of Spanish 
settlement in northern California in the late 
eighteenth century, Alviso had served as a port of 
regional significance. Its functions as the major 
transshipment point and entrepot in the south bay 
region were pivotal in the early establishment and 
persistence of adjacent nodes of settlement. Through 
the port funneled waterborne supplies, exports of 
hides and tallow, lumber, quicksilver, and agricul- 

tural products, which helped sustain the missions at 
San Jose and Santa Clara and the pueblo of San Jose, 
and the pioneers to populate them. The town of 
Alviso was founded in 1849 and incorporated in 
1852. The comments of E. Gould Buffum, who 
voyaged into Alviso in 1849, are illustrative of the 
optimistic enthusiasm felt by many toward its 

The want of a great commercial town at the head of the 
great bay of San Francisco has been supplied by the 
location of Alviso . . . the town of Alviso must inevitably 
grow into importance. 3 

Initially Alviso did prosper, although its flat, 
poorly-drained flood plain site limited settlement 
as flood waters and high tides periodically inundated 
the frontier town. As early as 1864, however, its 
important transportation function was seriously 
crippled when the San Francisco-San Jose Railroad 
was completed, bypassing Alviso. The town 
subsequently foundered and began slipping into 
obscurity and disrepair. Within two decades, 
however, the growth of agriculture in the greater 
region temporarily increased the volume of shipping 
at Alviso, and led to the construction in 1878 of a 
narrow-gauge line of the South Pacific Coast 
Railroad, linking Alviso to the main line in San Jose. 
These changes brought little in the way of sustained 
economic revival for the town. Yet, as historian 
Munro-Fraser noted in 1881: "There are some 
residents who are still sanguine, and predict a great 
future for the little town." 4 

Thus, upon Wheeler's arrival in Alviso in early 
1890, the population of Alviso numbered only about 
900 inhabitants, but appeared to him to be doing a 
relatively brisk business in shipping and storage. He 
was impressed with Alviso's location on a navigable 
waterway and its apparent potential for develop- 
ment. Conversations with local residents convinced 


Located in the south San Francisco Bay 
region, Alviso's poorly-drained flood 
plain site helped to limit its settlement. 

him that an undercurrent of interest in Alviso did in 
fact exist, and that many people shared the belief that 
it was somehow destined to be a great port and 
settlement. It was, in short, a land ripe for speculation 
and promotion. Thus, the scheme for New Chicago 
was conceived. 

In spite of his modest financial resources, being the 
able promoter that he was, Wheeler had soon 
marshalled a wealthy and influential group of sup- 
porters. These men held positions necessary to 
seriously undertake the kind of scheme Wheeler had 
in mind. Foremost on the list of supporters were real 
estate brokers A. C. Darby, J. C. Roberts, and Paul 
Austin; John W. Rea, who was railroad com- 
missioner of the state; John Richards, a local attorney; 
and George A. Penniman, a wealthy fruit grower in 
the valley. 5 

On paper, New Chicago was to be grand. Its 
prototype, of course, was Chicago. Chicago was not 
an unlikely analogue, since it too is situated at the end 
of a great body of water with a vast agricultural 
hinterland at its door, and the pace of its rise from 
local to regional to national stature was phenomenal. 
Yet, in the late nineteenth century the image of 
Chicago was one of sylvan elegance and it was 
nicknamed, "The Garden City." 6 Typical of the 
ostentatious language characterizing promotion (.->( 
this scheme, it was proclaimed: 

This is a good name for this great coming city. 'A rose by 
another name would smell as sweet.' And yet there is ,1 
lingering fate that hangs over a name that makes progress 
easy. The right men, the right spirit, the right fate, build 
cities in frog ponds; and here are the right men in the right 
place, with ,1 great open 'sea at their door." 7 



New Chicago was to be patterned after its name- 
sake in as many ways as possible, only on a reduced 
scale. The first phase in fostering this likeness called 
for the town to be platted like Chicago. The plat, 
surveyed by Henry Dittrich in early 1890, totaled 
104 blocks. 8 Each block was fifty feet wide and 
subdivided into sixty small lots of twenty-five feet by 
150 feet. Streets and avenues, of course, were named 
after those of Chicago — Michigan, Wabash, 

Dearborn, State, La Salle and so on. 

To increase interest in New Chicago, Wheeler and 
supporters devised an elaborate plan and persuasive 
argument for the proposed development of the town. 
The industrial component, for example, was to be 
most impressive. Slated for construction were 
industries ranging from heavy iron and steel works to 
light textile factories. It was announced, for example, 
that the town could "expect to have Spreckels' next 


The plan for New Chicago called for 104 blocks 
each block being divided into sixty lots. 

sugar refinery." 9 A sugar beet mill, it was estimated, 
would save the fruit growers of the valley "half a 
million dollars the first year of its existence." 10 
Waxing poetic, it was prophesied: 

The cathedral bell of the city clock will chime the hour 
when the great armies of workmen shall file in twos and 
threes into the great factories, yet unbuilt. 11 

Although the city, "yet unbuilt," was to be 
industrially diversified, the proposed development 
centered on port-related functions. The strength of 
such facilities, it was reasoned, lay not only in the 
increasing volume of Santa Clara Valley trade, but 
also in the claimed shortcomings of the Port of 
San Francisco. San Francisco, it was said, was too 
expensive "for the storage of coal and other bulky 
products that require great space," and its "water 
frontage is inadequate to the needs of . . . rapidly 
increasing commerce." 12 Attempting to strike home 
with the agriculturalists of the region, it was further 
claimed that produce hauled to San Francisco by 
freight car cost an average of twenty-eight dollars per 
ton and was not customarily unloaded until late 
morning, while produce brought by boat cost an 
average of only seven dollars per ton and "is hauled 
away to markets before the sun is up." 13 Thus, "a 
million dollars was lost to this community in 
vegetable traffic alone." 14 

Part of the development plan of the port called for 
the construction of a broad-gauge railroad from San 
Jose to Alviso to replace the narrow-gauge line 
already in operation. It was declared that since wharf 
rates at San Francisco amounted to three dollars and 
fifty cents for every ton of coal handled, "coal 
and other bulky articles could be delivered in San 
Francisco from Alviso by rail cheaper than at their 
own wharves." 15 

The key to any proposed development at New 
Chicago focused on a plan to straighten and dredge 
Alviso Slough to a minimum of twelve feet deep and 

150 feet wide. The project, of course, would be 
expensive, an estimated $100,000. Not only was the 
proposed dredging expensive, but there was also the 
question of financing. At this point enter General 
Albert Boschke and the River, Harbor, Canal 
Dredging and Land Company, with which he was 
associated. In magnanimous fashion, this probably 
bogus company presented a program to raise the 
necessary money by offering shares in the company. 
The company offered 20,000 shares of unassessable 
stock to the San Jose Board of Trade, to be sold to the 
public at five dollars per share, which was fifty 
percent of its reported par value. The purchase was to 
be paid in ten monthly installments of fifty cents per 
share. Once the $100,000 was raised, the company 
would agree to a written guarantee to perform the 
work and would cover any additional costs. 

To many residents of the valley who had long 
envisioned a port of Alviso as being their economic 
panacea, this plan was energetically hailed as a dream 
come true. There were others, however, who 
remained skeptical of such a plan and demanded 
more specifics. To eliminate such skepticism and to 
hasten the sale of their stock, the company began a 
vigorous campaign to show the feasibility of the 
dredging plan. Chief spokesman in this effort was the 
company's resident authority on dredging and 
supervisor of the proposed project, General Albert 
Boschke. General Boschke, it was pointed out, had 
spent forty years service in engineering work for the 
government, of which twenty-five were devoted to 
dredging and building dredging machinery. The 
arrival of Boschke was pointed to by those sup- 
portive of the plan as a great omen. As if by divine 
providence, it was proclaimed in one publication: 
Now, God, in His all-wise wisdom, saw fit to raise up one 
man, Boschke, a civil engineer of great renown, who has 
superintended dredging lo, these many years. And He put 
the thought in this man Boschkc's head that he dredge the 
slough of Alviso. 16 


In one of the first of many public announcements, 
General Boschke authoritatively stated: 

The proposed canal . . . will be one of the most important 
enterprises ever projected on this coast, and will I have no 
doubt, be promptly and expeditiously pushed to a speedy 
completion. Of course, he added, this will depend, in large 
measure, upon the public spirit and enterprise of the good 
people of San Jose, who are to raise the money. 17 

Boschke could foresee only two possible problems. 
One was disposing of the dredged material and the 
other was the possible breakdown of dredging 
machinery, thus delaying the project and incurring 
expensive repairs. It was decided that the dredged 
material should be used to reclaim the marsh. As for 
the second problem, Boschke hastened to add, that 
he had designed a new dredge just for this project that 

"will dig 22,000 cubic yards in a day of 22 hours and 
never break down." 18 It was next reported that 
General Abbott, Chief Engineer of the United States, 
along with high ranking members of his staff, 
"after examination of the drawings and model of 
the Boschke dredge pronounced it the greatest 
mechanical device in the world, and of great national 
importance." 19 The catch, of course, was: "In order 
to build this dredge, it is necessary for the people to 
buy stock in this company." 20 

The initial promotion of lots in New Chicago and 
shares in the dredging company was characterized by 
a wide ranging blitz of advertising with fanfare. 
Newspaper advertisements led the way. Half-page 
advertisements ran almost daily in the San Jose Daily 
Mercury for about a three month period during the 
spring of 1 890. On March 30, 1890, the first day that 


John W. Rea (right), state railroad commissioner and 
prominent hacker of the New Chicago scheme, posing 
with one James McKenzie and an unidentified woman. 

lots in New Chicago were offered to the public, for 
example, New Chicago was hailed in bold print 
as "The Coming Manufacturing Center of 
California." 21 On April 1, readers were advised of a 
"rare chance to get in early and secure a piece of land 
which within months will advance greatly in 
value." 22 

Mass public meetings were also held. During most 
of these events, cither General Boschke or W. H. H. 
Hart, president of the dredging company, was called 
upon to clarify some technical or financial point of 
contention. But generally, these meetings served 
only as an additional forum to promote the scheme. 
It was announced at one such meeting, for example, 
that "eleven vessels have already agreed to come to 
Alviso Harbor," and that "a company is now 
forming to build a steam tug at Alviso and $1 ,200 has 
already been raised for the purpose." 23 At one 
meeting, however, R. O. Shively, chairman of the 
San Jose Board of Trade Committee, was asked to 
investigate the officers of the dredging company and 
their proposed financing plan. But, "He . . . found 
the officers of the company good businessmen and 
men of character, and their offer had been a fair and 
liberal one." 24 Shively could not, however, find the 
company's articles of incorporation listed in 
California. But a spokesman for the company 
quickly replied that they were "incorporated under 
the laws of Colorado for the reason that it gave 
greater protection to shareholders than did the laws 
of any other state." 25 

Public contests were also held to foster interest in 
the proposed town. In one case, a free lot in New 
Chicago was offered to the first person who could 
determine the number of square feet in a twenty-five 
by 150 foot lot. The firms of Roberts, Austin and 
Darby in San Jose and Middleton and Sharon in San 
Francisco were retained to handle the expected 
bonanza of the sale of lots. They were not dis- 

appointed. The results of the frantic advertising 
combined with the relatively low selling prices, 
which ranged from $5 to $200 per lot, depending 
upon location, proved to be spectacular. On the first 
day that lots were offered to the public, 305 lots were 
sold, establishing a new single-day record for San 
Jose. 26 By the end of the first week 803 lots had been 
sold. 27 By the eleventh day, April 9, over 1,000 lots 
had been sold. 28 Four days later the San Jose real 
estate firm decided to remain open at night to handle 
the demand. By the end of April 1890, 2,31 1 lots had 
been sold. 29 

The intensity of the advertising campaign and the 
phenomenal rate at which lots were being sold tended 
to create its own momentum. Thus, even supposedly 
objective news coverage about New Chicago served 
only to spark increased interest. On April 13, for 
example, it was reported: 

The agents are constantly receiving letters of inquiry, and 
orders from all parts of the country and the prospects arc- 
that the lots in New Chicago will all be sold soon. 30 

The community was being swept up in a tide of 
excitement and the promoters were not about to let it 
wane. Thus, advertising continued unabated. It was 
announced, for example, that Mr. Austin, a partner 
in the San Jose real estate firm, "is [to be] nominated 
for mayor of that town when it incorporates." 31 
A picture of how New Chicago might look in the 
future was painted and placed in the real estate office 
in San Jose. The picture, it was reported: 

... is well worth looking at if one has money in his pocket 
to pay for lots, but if the money is not there the sight of the 
picture creates an aching void which urges one forward to 
accumulate at least the price of a cheap lot. 32 

Shares in the dredging company were also being 
sold at a rapid rate. During late spring of 1890 it was 


California History 

A movement is now on foot, in which Congressman 
Clurrie is taking an active part in Washington, to secure a 
government appropriation to extend the harbor im- 
provements two and a half miles further inland ... to a 
point but three and a half miles to the courthouse in 
San Jose. 33 

By the end of the summer of 1890, more than 
3,500 lots and over 17,000 shares in the dredging 
company had been sold. But, in spite of the 
auspicious real estate sales, and the construction of a 
few houses, there was little beyond promises to 
suggest that the proposed developments would be 
forthcoming. The community thereafter assumed a 
more conservative, wait-and-see posture, while the 
sales of lots came to an abrupt halt. In an attempt to 
revive public interest and to appease rapidly growing 
skepticism, in October of 1890, over two miles of 
streets were graded, graveled and curbed. 34 Pre- 
liminary soundings also were taken along the slough 
by Wheeler and supporters. Some months later, in 
February of 1891, a bridge was built over Steamboat 
Slough. The community, however, remained largely 
unimpressed by these minor improvements, and the 
hopes of a New Chicago began to fade into oblivion 
almost as fast as they had emerged. 

Throughout the months that New Chicago had 
been in the forefront of public attention, Wheeler, 
who initiated the scheme, maintained a relatively low 
profile in the public's eye, preferring to play a role 
largely behind the scenes. During the ensuing 
months of 1891, and as the New Chicago scenario 
was reaching its scandalous conclusion, Wheeler 
began to assume an increasingly prominent position. 
In a last ditch effort to renew interest in the scheme, 
and to satisfy his original goal, Wheeler completed 
plans to bring his defunct watch factory to Alviso. 
After resolution of a complicated series of legal 
problems surrounding the factory, it was in fact 
dismantled, brought to Alviso and rebuilt. In early 

September of 1891, the impressive factory, known as 
the San Jose Watch Factory, was completed. In spite 
of the building, and hiring of renowned watchmakers 
from throughout the country, especially Elgin, 
Illinois, the factory remained in operation but one 
day. It appears that the cost of construction and other 
expenditures on the ill-fated factory consumed the 
total of the company's financial resources, which 
totaled about $350,000, of which the bulk came from 
Wheeler's profits derived from the sale of lots in New 

Thus, in the end, even the profits which had been 
gained through shrewd promotion, sifted like sand 
through the open hands of the over-ambitious 
promoters. The dreams of a New Chicago in the 
Santa Clara Valley became but a bittersweet mem- 
ory. General Boschke and associates of the probably 
fictitious dredging company vanished, never to be 
seen or heard from again. Law suits were duly filed 
against Wheeler, but he declared bankruptcy and left 
the community. 

It is impossible to determine whether the plan for 
New Chicago ever had any basis in fact, or was a 
complete hoax, since the $100,000 requested by the 
dredging company was never attained and not all of 
the 6,240 lots were sold. In all likelihood, however, 
Wheeler probably hoped for nothing more than to 
raise enough money from the sale of lots to finance 
his watch factory and, at best, that would serve as 
a catalyst to attract other businesses. As far as the 
plan to dredge the slough and the other proposed 
developments, they were probably just ploys to 
hasten the sale of lots. 

A traveler to Alviso in the middle 1890s would 
probably stare with curiosity at the landscape 
remnants of New Chicago. Spanning Steamboat 
Slough was a new wooden bridge, scarcely used, and 
leading to apparently nothing but an open field. Once 
across the bridge, and upon closer inspection, he 


New Chicago 

would discover the faint trace of lines subdividing the 
expanse of open land into vacant lots. The streets 
which cut paths through the area in grid pattern 
were graded and graveled, but potholed and fast 
becoming overrun with weeds. Pausing at the widest 
street, he might glance up to find a bent and tattered 
sign which cryptically identified the street as "Grand 
Blvd." Laughing out loud he would probably think it 
was all a joke, an illusion. But if rhetoric was reality, 
he would have seen a bustling, prosperous city. 

The photographs arc courtesy of the San Jose Historical Museum. 



Ibid., p. 4. 

Ibid., p. 23. 


Ibid., p. 10. 

Ibid., p. 15. 

Ibid., p. 4. 

Ibid., p. 13. 



San Jose Daily Mercury, 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

"New Chicago at Port 

Ibid., p. 17. 

Ibid., p. 18. 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

Sati Jose Daily Mercury, 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

"New Chicago at Port 


Ibid., p. 3. 

San Jose Daily Mercury, 

March 30, 1890, p. 3. 
April 1, 1890, p. 3. 
Alviso," p. 10 



1 1, 1890, p. 3. 
1 6, 1890, p. 5. 
1 9, 1890, p. 3. 
1 29, 1890, p. 2. 
1 13, 1890, p. 5. 

Alviso," p. 15. 

October 30, 1890, p. 3. 

1. Paul Wallace Gates, Landlords and Tenants on the Prairie 
Frontier (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 
1973), p. 70. 

2. Allan G. Bogue and Margaret Beattie Bogue, " 'Profit' and 
the Frontier Land Speculator," in Vernon Carstensen, ed., 
The Public Lands: Studies in the History of the Public Domain 
(Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), 
p. 373. 

3. E. Gould Buffum, Six Months in the Gold Fields (Los 
Angeles: The Ward Ritchie Press, 1959), p. 131. 

4. J. P. Munro-Fraser, History of Santa Clara County, California 
(San Francisco: Alley Bowen & Company, 1881), p. 251. 

5. Benny A. Phillips, "1890 Alviso Boom, 1948 Grand 
Finale," San Jose News, October 10, 1948, p. 22. 

6. Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophilia (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: 
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1974), p. 202. 

7. "New Chicago at Port Alviso: Some Printed Facts Selected 
From the Writings ofThose Who Know," issued by the real 
estate firms of Roberts, Austin and Darby of San Jose, and 
Sharon and Middleton of San Francisco, 1890, p. 6. A 
pamphlet in the Bancroft Library, University of California, 

8. Phillips, "Alviso Boom." 

9. "New Chicago at Port Alviso," p. 8. 

10. Ibid. 

11. Ibid., p. 6 



Lyndall B. Landauer 



Being on the coast of California when the "gold-fever" 
raged, the force of circumstances compelled me to take 
command of a brig bound on a sealing, sea-elephant and 
whaling voyage or abandon sea-life, at least temporarily. J 

With these words, Charles Melville Scammon, 
whose long career at sea included trading, whaling 
and Coast Guard service, recorded a turning point in 
his life. Scammon was a man who always knew that 
his career and his destiny lay at sea. There are times in 
everyone's life during which critical, fateful decisions 
are made. For Scammon, the decision had always 
been in favor of the sea. He had sailed on trading 
vessels off the east coast of the United States until he 
was offered a ship carrying gold-seekers around Cape 
Horn to California. He arrived in San Francisco 
about 1850. The city was crowded with Forty- 
niners scrambling to get to the gold fields. The 
precious metal had been reported to be lying in the 
streams of northern California just waiting to be 
scooped up by those who could get there first. 

Scammon may have considered gold seeking but 
his writings record that he turned instead back to the 
sea. As new ships anchored in San Francisco Bay, 

crewmen deserted by the shipload to get in on the 
bonanza, leaving the bay a forest of idle or abandoned 
ships. There were few able bodied sailors left to man 
the ships that were ready to head west through the 
Golden Gate. In the face of such difficulties, many 
ship's captains resorted to "shanghai-ing" a crew or 
gave up the sea and joined the rush toward gold. 
Scammon, being not inclined to do either of the 
foregoing, found a job whaling. It was a fateful 
decision for it led him to fame in three diverse but 
intimately connected areas: whaling, natural history 
and geography. It was as a whaler that he gained 
fame, if not fortune. It was these same whaling 
activities that caused his name to be left on the 
landscape in Mexico and in Alaska. And it was 
whaling that made possible the writing of a book that 
became a basic tool in the study of whales, or 

Much has been written about Scammon, the 
whaler. The tale is often told of his discovery of the 
breeding places of the Pacific Gray Whale in the 

Lyndall B. Landauer is a doctoral candidate in the Historv 
of Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

The frontispiece from Charles M. Scammon's 1874 book. 


lagoons of Baja California in 1857. It was as surely a 
turning point for the gray whale as it was for 
Scammon who foresaw and deplored the near 
extinction of this unique mammal. Important though 
this event was for Scammon, it consumed a very 
small portion of his life at sea. 

Scammon became a whaler of necessity and his 
whaling activities lasted only about eight years. His 
first recorded whale capture was not a gray but a 
right whale. It was killed with a new bomb lance 
harpoon on February 12, 1854 in the Indian Ocean. 
He went on whaling and sealing voyages along the 
Pacific Coast of the United States, the Bering Sea and 
all areas of the Pacific Ocean. He made only three 
excursions to Laguna de Ojo Liebre (Lagoon of the 
Rabbit Hole) or Scammon's Lagoon. Yet his name is 
forever linked with the gray whale and its Mexican 
breeding grounds. 

As a civilized whaler, a phrase Scammon used to 
designate responsible men who engaged in whaling 
activities, Scammon was aware of the deleterious 
effects that lagoon whaling had on the gray whale. 

He remarked that those areas where whaling had 
been most intense became deserted as the whale 
"learned to shun the fatal shore." 2 He was saddened 
by the fact that this new place and style of whaling 
that he had originated would soon render the whale 
extinct. He tried to keep his lagoon a secret — to no 
avail — and in spite of the destructive nature of the 
activity he did not cease to captain ships to Baja 
California. There seems to have been a fascination for 
the task even as he recognized its end result. 

The path that led Scammon from whaling to 
writing the natural history of the cetacea and 
pinnipeds is not recorded. He obviously had an 
interest in, as well as sympathy for, the animals he 
was hunting. In later years, when he had already 
decided to write a book on the natural history of the 
mammals he encountered, he recognized the 
importance of his whaling activities: 

"The objects of our pursuit were found in great numbers 
and the opportunities for studying their habits were so 
good, that I became greatly interested in collecting facts 
bearing upon the natural history of these animals." 3 


San Francisco Bay busy with 
whaling ships during the 1850s. 

A portrait of Charles Scammon-a part 

of the Scammon Papers at the Bancroft 

Library (the photograph is not dated). 

It is not clear whether this decision was made while 
he was still whaling or in later years when he realized 
how unique his experience and knowledge was. The 
book that he wrote as a result of this awareness, The 
Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North 
America, was a blend of natural history facts about 
whales and other mammals, the geography of the 
area and whaling practices of both Americans and 
Eskimos. It was an impressive production for a man 
whose formal education had ended around the age of 
fifteen when he was apprenticed to a sea captain. This 
paucity of formal education did not hamper his 
making a major contribution to the scientific world 
in the foundation of the science of cetology. 

There is a majesty, an awe-inspiring quality about 
a great whale. Even today whales draw crowds of 
spectators towards a beached specimen or out to sea 
on whale-watching tours. Their size, grace and 
manner arc stunning. Scammon, who had been 
sailing for ten years before he began whaling, had 
seen many whales in the course of his travels and was 
always curious to know more about them. During 
one of his sojourns ashore, he tried to find written 
material on the whale. There were many legends and 
stories but few facts. There was nothing on the gray 
whale. He noted that he was: 

"soon led to believe that, by diligent observation, I should 
be able to add materially to the scanty stock of information 
existing." 4 

Scammon engaged in whaling from about 1853 to 
the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 when he 
volunteered to join the Revenue Service. His book 
was published in 1874, thirteen years after he ended 
his whaling career. These years remained vivid in 
Scammon's memory since his log books are precise 
as to date, place, weather and other details of the 
daily operation of a ship. They do not record much 
information on natural history. The idea of writing 

down such facts grew and developed slowly. The 
inclusion of data such as measurements, food, names 
and habitat suggests that he kept many notes. 

There are several events or factors that contributed 
to Scammon's focus on natural history. One of the 
first came after he quit whaling and became a captain 
in the Revenue Cutter Service (later to be designated 
the Coast Guard). In 1866 he met William H. Dall 
who was to be a great influence on him. Scammon 
was named the commander of a five ship squadron 
on an expedition to survey Russian America. In 1867 
this area was purchased by the United States and 
became the Alaska Territory. Dall, a nineteen year 
old Navy Lieutenant, had been chosen for the job of 
naturalist on the expedition. He was in charge of 


Captain Scammon and his crew aboard the Nightingale 

at Plover Bay, Alaska in 1866 (looking forward on the ship). Scammon 

has his arms folded in the center; his wife, Susan, is on the far right. 

Charles Scammon 

invertebrate specimens in addition to being the 
surgeon and keeper of scientific equipment for 
himself and six other scientists aboard. Scammon 
commanded the expedition from his flagship the 
Golden Gate and Dall was assigned to this ship. They 
must have been drawn together by their interest in 
marine mammals, though we can only speculate on 
their meetings and conversations. Dall had been a 
student at Harvard and had learned much of his 
zoology from the famed Swiss-American naturalist, 
Louis Agassiz. One of Scammon's biographers, 
Campbell Grant, 5 thinks that this meeting with 
William Dall was the catalyst that led to the writing 
of Scammon's book, published nine years later. 

It is clear that Dall was Scammon's first acquaint- 
ance with the academic world, with professional 
scientists, journals and educational atmosphere. 
Through this connection Scammon came to realize 
how great was his knowledge about the living whale. 
When Scammon's book was published, it included a 
twenty-six page catalog of Cetacea of the North 
Pacific written by Dall, then associated with the 
Smithsonian Institution. He was a respected 
zoologist when, forty years later, he wrote an 
obituary for Scammon in Science magazine. 

It can be concluded that Dall gave Scammon 
confidence in his own exceptional fund of 
information and an introduction into an area where 
it could be understood, published and appreciated. 
He clearly was aware, after this time, of the worth 
of his observations and his experience at sea among 
the whales. 

Beginning in 1868 Scammon became associated 
with another influence that led toward the writing of 
his book. The Overland Monthly was a magazine first 
published that year in San Francisco. This publica- 
tion had a unique place in the development of the 
California cultural community in the late nineteenth 
century. In its first issue it professed to be a publi- 

cation that would feature the Pacific Coast in tone 
and origin. It intended to embrace the commercial 
and social interests of California and would include 
only original articles, stories and poems which 
reflected western talent, ideas and tastes. 6 Its first 
series, which lasted from 1868 to 1875, was directed 
and edited by Bret Harte. It included contributions 
from Mark Twain, Joaquin Miller, J. Ross Browne 
and others, including Harte himself, who became the 
literary backbone of the West. The magazine also 
included articles on travel, art, politics, science and 
natural history. It was a financial and critical success. 
It presented the new state of California, a part of the 
union for only two decades, to the rest of the world. 
It enjoyed wide circulation that extended to Europe. 
Charles Dickens was reputedly a reader, especially of 
Bret Harte stories, and eagerly awaited each issue. 7 

It was in this publication that Scammon's 
observations were first published. In all, he wrote 
fifteen articles for the Overland Monthly. Five of these 
were on strictly natural history subjects. They 
included discussions on the fur seal, sea otter, sea 
elephant and the orca. None were on whales. Seven 
other articles concern the geography of the Pacific 
and the Northwest. He described the Seal Islands of 
Alaska, Baja California and various aspects of the 
Pacific Coast including the Farallone Islands, thirty 
miles west of San Francisco. Three other articles 
covered whaling practices and hunting for sea 

Scammon's writing is precise and spare. His 
articles contrasted with the popular literary style of 
the day and with the western flavor of the other 
articles in Overland Monthly. His subjects provided 
the interest: sights unknown to the reader, animals 
never seen, the sea, whaling. All of these were replete 
with drama that was emphasized by the understated 
calm of the author. The adventure, the inherent 
danger in the activities described were intensified by 


California History 

the matter-of-fact style of Scammon. He obviously 
knew his subjeets. Whether describing the plight of 
the seals of the Farallone Islands, whieh have "fallen 
victims to the hunter's club and spear" and whose 
"restless actions manifest a feeling of insecurity" 8 or 
the approach from the sea to the Columbia River as 
"a sandy coastline (which) stretches between bold 
headlands, behind which are navigable waters . . . 
beset with tortuous or shallow channels of ingress, 9 " 
Scammon displays a clear, lucid style well suited to 
his subjects. 

During these years, 1868 to 1874, Scammon was 
on active duty as captain of a Revenue cutter. How 
much time he had to write is not known. He did take 
several tours of sick leave ashore. This might have 
afforded him the time to organize his writings. There 
is a distinct possibility that these articles served as first 
drafts for his later book. Several of them — on the fur 
seal, otter, sea elephant and the orca — were later 
incorporated into it. None were printed completely 
verbatim, as measurements, sketches and long 
explanatory footnotes were added for the book. But 
it is obvious they were not re-written. The Overland 
Monthly articles then can be viewed as preliminary to 
the book, almost first drafts. We can conclude that, 
given the somewhat eclectic nature of Marine 
Mammals of the Northwestern Coast, its makeup was 
dictated by these articles or at least designed to 
incorporate the majority of them. This might explain 
the inclusion of sections on whaling and whaling 
tools and practices of Alaskan and American whalers. 
That they were produced prior to the book is 
unquestioned. That they were intended as part of the 
book from the first is not so obvious. One point in 
favor of this view is the illustration of the Orca in the 
1872 Overland Monthly article which is quite 
apparently a preliminary sketch for a more complete 
plate in the book. 10 

In the early 1870s, while preparing his book, 

Scammon lived in a house on Ellis Street in San 
Francisco. He became a part of the cultural, literary 
life of the city. This also had a decided influence on 
his decision to write a book. He was in poor health at 
this time, though still on active duty, and spent much 
time ashore. His association with the cultural leaders 
of San Francisco, through his connections with 
Overland Monthly and its publishers, must have been 
heady for a ship captain from Maine with only a basic 
education. He did not enjoy this position for long as 
he moved his family to Sebastopol in 1874. This 
small town seventy- five miles north of San Francisco 
was a place where he hoped to recover his health. 

His association with writers, publishers, scientists 
and naturalists lent impetus to work on his book. It is 
not possible to determine whether this influence was 
a major cause of the writing of the book. It seems 
likely to have been highly stimulating as was his 
introduction to the scientific world. He had informal 
meetings with Louis Agassiz and other scientists. He 
became a member of the California Academy of 
Sciences and presented several talks to the meetings. 
He dedicated his book to Agassiz, who died the year 
before it was published, showing his confidence that 
he was producing information that would be appre- 
ciated by zoologists. 

That Scammon is now being accepted as one of the 
pioneer American cetologists, the only American 
whaler to be so designated, is due almost entirely to 
his book on marine mammals. In it he published the 
first extensive description of the Pacific Gray Whale. 
This light gray barnacle-covered whale is often called 
a living fossil. It has the most primitive characteristics 
of all modern whales including a long head and short 
baleen plates. When first reports of its travels along 
the California coast reached the zoological estab- 
lishment of nineteenth century Europe and America, 
it was linked with one or more extinct species. It was 
shortly placed in a species classification by itself, 


A drawing of California Gray Whales 

among the icefloes was printed in 

Scammon's book and signed by him. 


The Joe Lane was captained by 

Scammon in 1867 as a Revenue Service Cutter. 


Charles Scammon 

though its scientific name has been changed several 
times since then. 

Scammon produced the first facts about this new 
species. These were first published in an article by 
Edward Cope entitled "On Agaphelus, a genus of 
toothless Cctacca." 11 Cope listed William H. Dall as 
his source with no mention of Scammon. Whether 
Scammon was furious about this or not, as claimed 
by Campbell Grant, 12 he did get several articles 
printed in scientific journals and was honored by 
having his name attached to a particular species of 
balenoptera, since reduced to a sub-class. 

Whether or not Scammon was listed as the first 
describer of the gray whale in scientific circles, there 
is certainly no doubt that he is credited with giving 
the first extensive description of it, including aspects 
of its food and behavior, never before covered. 
Having little background in established zoological 
principles, Scammon ignored its connection with 
extinct varieties. His attention was focused on the 
living whale that he met in the lagoons and along the 
coast of California. His pages on the gray whale, 
numbering only thirteen, are not complete. He could 
describe only what he could see in the murky waters 
of the lagoons or offshore. His admiration for these 
animals shows through in several places. They are 
described as intelligent, sagacious, sportive, playful 
and tenacious of life. Despite his occupation, which 
concerned the killing of these animals, his interest in 
their natural history was extensive. It might even be 
possible that this interest shortened his whaling career 
and may have helped turn his mind toward their 
natural history. 

In any study of the gray whale, Scammon's 
thirteen pages on it in Marine Mammals must stand at 
the beginning. It was the major reference on this 
whale for fifty years. This book was also used as a 
source of information on the right, blue, sperm and 
bowhead whales as well as dolphin, pinnipeds or 

seals and sea elephants. Scammon also added to 
knowledge of the habits of the killer whale or orca. 
The book included one hundred pages on American 
whaling practices and techniques, interesting for its 
detailed descriptions of methods and of equipment. It 
is not a comfortable mixture of subjects. It can be 
seen as a compendium of knowledge and experience 
possessed by Captain Scammon. In this aspect it is a 
very personal book, though written in a decidedly 
impersonal style. 

Scammon wrote no other books after Marine 
Mammals. This book was his magnum opus though it 
was a financial failure. He and his publisher, John 
Carmany, however, considered it such an important 
book that they freely distributed copies to friends and 
to libraries. According to one report, 13 there were 
still many copies in the offices of John Carmany on 
April 6, 1906. They disappeared in San Francisco's 
great earthquake and fire. 

The Revenue Service continued to be Scammon's 
primary place of employment until he retired in 1894. 
He wrote one more article for Overland Monthly in 
1883. He was reportedly at work on a scientific 
treatise at this time, but the section on the manatee, 
or sea cow, was the only part published. He observed 
two captured specimens in Key West, Florida in 1 880 
but he was not enthralled with these slow and pudgy- 
animals. He calls them interesting but of a low order, 
thick, sluggish, with eyes devoid of expression. He 
quotes other writers on the subject, though it is clear 
that little was known about them. Scammon did not 
even know their scientific species classification, 
though it had been established in the eighteenth 

Scammon's last article was not one of his better 
efforts and, ironically, it was the only one that carried 
his name on it when the magazine was published. 
The original contributions to the Overland Monthly 
were traditionally identified by author only in the 


A drawing by Scammon for the second 

part oj his book which covered whaling practices. 


Charles Scammon 

index. This policy was changed after the first five 
years. Scammon was sixty-four years old when this 
article was printed and he retired from the Revenue 
Service only four years later. Apparently ill, though 
he lived to the venerable age of ninety-six, he wrote 
no more, explored no more. 

Scammon had gained notoriety in the years when 
the adventure, danger and drama of whaling were 
popular subjects for literature and drama. There is 
reason to believe that, though the mechanics of 
whaling seem to have fascinated him, he was not 
enamored of the actual killing of the whales of any 
species. It is ironic, therefore, that he has remained 
most visible as the discoverer of the breeding lagoons 
of the gray whale and the leader of the slaughter that 
rendered them almost extinct. His other accom- 
plishments were not as notorious or spectacular but 
he would certainly be as pleased at the label of 
"cetologist" as he ever was to be called sea captain. 

7. Ibid. 

8. Overland Monthly, Vol. 15, 1875, p. 57. 

9. Overland Monthly, Vol. 13, 1871, p. 371. 

10. Overland Monthly, Vol. 14, 1872, p. 52. 

11. Proceedings of Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 1868, 
No. 4, p. 221. 

12. Grant, Charles Scammon, p. xxviii. 

13. Ibid., p. xxix. 

All of the photographs are courtesy of the Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 


1. Charles M. Scammon, Marine Mammals of the Northwestern 
Coast of North America (John Carmony, 1874), p. 1 1 . 

2. Ibid., p. 33. 

3. Ibid., p. 1 1. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Campbell Grant, Charles Melville Scammon: Sea 
Captain-Naturalist (Riverside: Manessier Pub. Co., 1968). 
p. xxiv. (This is an introduction to a facsimile edition of 
Marine Mammals. ) 

6. Ernest R. May, "The Overland Monthly Under Bret Harte" 
(unpublished dissertation. University of California, 1949). 


Doycc B. Nunis,Jr. 


W. Michael Mathcs, Reviews Editor 

Books Commemorating the 
Bicentennial of the Founding 
of Los Angeles 

One of the ways Americans celebrate historic occa- 
sions is to publish a plethora of books. It has almost 
become a national pastime, witness the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the nation's independence in 
1976. Thus, when it came time to celebrate the bicen- 
tennial of the founding of Los Angeles in 1981, one 
could have anticipated a flood of books. Not so! The 
publishing world responded with restraint. One also 
might add, with a bit more quality rather than 

The publication highlights of 1980-81 (the bicen- 
tennial year) consisted of two original historical 
treatments, lavishly illustrated; a book composed of 
historic photographs with supporting text, and a 
charmingly written appreciation of Los Angeles by a 
talented writer. Each in its own way was worthy of 
the occasion. 

Two talented historians took on the task of writing 
special coffee-table sized histories for Los Angeles' 
birthday. David Lavender prepared Los Angeles, Two 
Hundred Years, published by Continental Heritage 
Press, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma (240 pp., $24.95), 
while David Clark wrote Los Angeles, A City Apart, 
published by Windsor Publications, Inc., Woodland 
Hills, California (252 pp., $24.95). The books share 
much in common: the same subject; handsome de- 
sign and layout; lavish use of illustrations, both black 
and white as well as color; comparable appagination; 
identical size and price, and both are well written. 
Each includes a chronology of the city's history, 
Clark places his as the first chapter, while Lavender's 
comes at the end of his narrative. Each also concludes 
with a section devoted to Los Angeles institutional, 

Doycc B. Nunis, Jr. is Professor of History at the University of 
Southern California and the author of numerous books and 
articles. Most recently he edited the second edition of W. W. 
Robinson's Los Angeles From the Days of the Pueblo which 
was published by CHS this past fall. 


Los Angeles in 1871 as drawn by E. S. Glover 

m i ( >\v / os Angeles' infamous "Nigger 

Alley" looking north about 1882. 

corporate and business firm capsule histories. The 
inclusion of the latter helped to defray cost of publica- 
tion. Each contains an index and acknowledgments, 
and Clark adds a bibliography. 

Clark divides his historical narration into ten chap- 
ters, while Lavender uses eight. Clark's chronology is 
also presented in narrative form, while Lavender's 
is strictly date and event. Both books are fairly even 
in distribution of subject matter and content. 

Nevertheless, there are several marked differences. 

Clark tends to emphasize more interpretation; La- 
vender elaborates more on events and personalities. 
Clark has somewhat of a broader sweep, but Laven- 
der has a keener appreciation for condensation. Both 
approaches have merit. In the main, Lavender's pic- 
ture captions are more detailed than those in Clark, 
and Lavender's chronology is far more meticulous in 
coverage. As for the closing section in each, appro- 
priately called "Partners in Progress" in Clark and 
"Partners in Economic Progress" in Lavender, these 


The Los Angeles Plaza Church served 

early residents for a number of years. It is 

seen here toward the end of the 1880s. 

mini-histories are not without merit even if there are 
some duplicate entries. 

No reader should approach these two books ex- 
pecting definitive treatment of the history of Los 
Angeles. Instead, they are popular histories, in the 
best sense of that word, prepared for the general au- 
dience. For what they attempt, namely a readable and 
brief history, made less painful by good writing and 
handsome illustrations, they succeed admirably. As 
in such works, one can always pick the specks out of 
the pepper. For example, there are some bloopers in 
both, but Lavender's appears to have suffered from 
less editorial attention, especially in proofing copy, 
than Clark's, and there are some errors in Lavender's 
chronology. On balance, I would be hard pressed 
to choose one over the other. That's why I am 
glad I have both. Each makes its own individual 

In contrast to the Clark and Lavender books, Bruce 
Henstell has placed emphasis on the pictorial rather 
than an extended narrative text in his Los Angeles, An 
Illustrated History (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 
1980, 223 pp., $25.00). In sixteen chapters he traces 
the history of Los Angeles in visual materials, 
primarily black and white photographs, although 
there is a single chapter in dazzling color. Each chap- 
ter begins in most instances with a two-page narra- 
tion, followed by a bevy of photographs germaine to 
the chapter's theme. Much of the story is told in 
lengthy captions, and rightly so since this is an illus- 
trated history. 

The photographs have been well selected, as were 
those in the Clark and Lavender books. Henstell es- 
chews using the familiar and has striven to include 
"fresh" images of the city's historic past. His success 
is apparent: this is a fresh-faced look at Los Angeles as 
captured by the lenses of many cameras, amateur and 

The book is well made, somewhat shorter in 

height than the larger Clark and Lavender works. 
But like them, it has a few added features: a sparse 
chronology and a capsule bibliography. An index is 
omitted. In contrast to Clark and Lavender, this is 
really a "pic" book, to use the vernacular of the trade. 

One of the more entertaining of the books issued 
to commemorate the city's bicentennial was authored 
by John C. Weaver, Los Angeles: The Enormous Vil- 
lage, iy8i-ig8i (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1980, 
238 pp., paper, $8.95). This is actually a revised and 
enlarged edition of Weaver's El Pueblo Grande: Los 
Angeles from the Brush Huts ofYangna to the Skyscrapers 
of the Modern Megalopolis published by the Ward 
Ritchie Press in 1973. An abridged version of that 
trade edition was especially printed for the Atlantic 
Richfield Company (500 copies) for private 

With great humor and with an eye for the unusual, 
Weaver provides an informative and sparkling tale. 
He gallops through the early history up to 1 899 in 
two chapters, which consume only one-fifth of the 


book's contents. His primary focus is the present 
century, and he ploughs through these past eighty 
years, decade by decade, treating each to a chapter. 
The narrative is presented in chiseled prose, easy to 
read and digest. There are some surprises in the mate- 
rial covered, particularly in detail and anecdote, but 
on the whole the terrain is familiar. As in the previ- 
ous 1973 edition, the book concludes with a section 
entitled "Los Angeles Miscellany" which is a mini- 
mini almanac of information on topics ranging from 
Angels Flight, a former landmark, to Yangna, the 
Indian village which was the city's antecedent. 
Sources used and an index round out the volume. 

This new expanded edition has a decided point of 
view: it is an upbeat treatment of the city's develop- 

ment. Few of the city's warts are revealed. It is ob- 
vious that Weaver loves L.A. Nothing wrong about 
that, but it does make for a rosier picture than 
perhaps facts warrant. This is not to impute to 
Weaver distortion or error, for he certainly has done 
his homework to render a factually accurate portrait 
in what he paints. Rather, it is in the area of what is 
included and how the city is perceived in the eye of 
the author that no doubt will generate criticism. On 
the other hand, perhaps a history clothed in 
positivism will be welcomed by those grown tired of 
reading the seamy side of life as it is spread across the 
local daily newspapers and carried into our homes in 
living color through television newscasts. 

And speaking of newspapers, 19H1 marked the 


One of many Los Angeles real estate 
ventures in the late 1800s involved the sale 
of the William Wolf skill tract. 

centenary of the founding of the Los Angeles Times. 
To honor that coincident event a large book (n"x 14") 
was fashioned, appropriately entitled, Front Page: 100 
Years of the Los Angeles Times, i88i-ig8i (New York: 
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 1981, 287 pp., 
$25.00). Brief prefatory statements from Otis Chan- 
dler (Chairman of the Board), W. Thomas Johnson 
(Publisher), and William F. Thomas (Editor), all of 
the Times Mirror Corporation which owns the 
Times, followed by a brief essay by Digby Diehl, 
introduce 240 facsimile front pages from the news- 
paper. The reproductions are arranged chrono- 
logically with the century of publication divided into 
decades. At least one front page from each year in the 
decade is included, although the average is two, with 
the number of front pages in each section ranging 
from a dozen upward. The reproductions are sharp 
and clear, although there are occasional bloopers (see 
pp. 218, 220). The selection for 1981 is headlined: 
dary headline is: "Reagan Takes Office, Asks 'Na- 
tional Renewal.'" The date: January 21. So, if you 
like to hopscotch through Los Angeles history as re- 
ported in the front pages of the Times, this book is for 
you. Unfortunately there is no index, so scholarly 
and reference use is strictly limited. 

One of the enduring features of Los Angeles has 
been captured within the pages of The Old Plaza 
Church, A Documentary History (222 pp., $14.00) 
compiled and edited by Msgr. Francis J. Weber, the 
archivist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. This is 
another title in his series of documentary histories of 
the California missions. He has elected to include 
Nuestra Sefiora de Los Angeles, the Plaza Church's 
official name, since it was one of five asistencias or 
assistant missions founded in Alta California. 

The church's history is chronicled in forty-two 
selections which have been drawn from an equal 
number of publications, both books and magazines. 

The subject matter is distributed mostly on a 
chronological arrangement, dating from 1769, when 
Fray Juan Crespf named the Los Angeles River, to 
1 97 1, an extracted article which was critical of the 
recent restoration of the historic church. The two 
concluding pieces do not fall within the otherwise 
structured chronology and are definitely out of 

This historical anthology has much to recommend 
it. One quickly gleans the role the venerable church 
has played in the Plaza area, the historic heart of old 
Los Angeles. Indeed, one comes to view the Old 
Plaza Church as a faithful reflection of the city's past. 
Many of the selections are firsthand accounts; the rest 
are secondary, some of them no doubt based on 
documentary sources. The most impressive piece is 
the republication of J. Thomas Owen's historical 
account of the church, 1784- 1960. However, his ex- 
tensive footnotes have been omitted. Nevertheless, it 
is the jewel in the volume. The other selections arc 
merely its facets. 

Unfortunately, there are two criticisms to be 
voiced. First, several of the illustrations are in error 
either as to positioning (the frontispiece) or in 
identification. Second, Msgr. Weber has included 
from his own writings his 1968 study, El Pueblo de 
Nuestra Senora de los Angeles, which details his reasons 
for the original name given the pueblo when it was 
founded. A contrary opinion has been expressed by 
Theodore E. Treutlcin, which disputes Msgr. 
Weber's contention. That study was published in the 
Southern California Quarterly, Spring 1973. Prudent 
readers will wish to evaluate the question by con- 
sulting both points of view. This cavil aside, Msgr. 
Weber has provided us with a valuable book, worthy 
of inclusion on any list of books relating to Los 
Angeles. It is available from Dawson's Book Shop, 
535 North Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 


A Van Nuys tract office offered "Free 
Souvenirs and Literature" in igi2. 

One of the most imposing and monumental books 
published, one which enriches the history of 
medicine in Los Angeles, is the magnificent study by 
Helen Eastman Martin, M.D. This extraordinary 
book details The History of the Los Angeles County 
Hospital (1878-1968) and the Los Angeles County- 
University of Southern California Medical Center (1968- 
1978). Dr. Martin, long associated with both institu- 
tions, labored on this history for many years; retire- 
ment made possible its completion. Historians of 
Los Angeles will be indebted to her for her model 
scholarship, thoroughness, accuracy, and wealth of 
information packed within the 548 pages of text and 
numerous illustrations. 

The text is divided into five parts. Part I surveys 
the first county hospitals from 1 858-1 878. Part II 
commences the story of the present county hospital, 
first located on Mission Road, 1 878-1933 . Part III 
provides details of the new edifice, built on State 
Street, for the years 1933-1956. The last two parts 
center attention on the twenty years of tremendous 
growth and change, 1956-1976, and a discussion of 

the various medical departments, administration, and 
other hospital services as they are presently consti- 
tuted. A brief epilogue and eight short appendices 
conclude the volume, capped by excellent name and 
subject indexes. 

Factually, the content of the book is extremely 
rich; no stone has been left unturned. Each section, 
each chapter has been carefully researched and taste- 
fully written. It is an exhaustive study of Los 
Angeles' major hospital and one of the nation's im- 
portant medical centers. We can be grateful that the 
University of Southern California Press undertook 
the book's publication. 

The book is available only from Cares, Suite 
303-A, Parkview Medical Bldg., USC School of 
Medicine, 2025 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 
90003. The price is $21.50 (plus tax and postage). 
Proceeds go to the hospital. 

On a more restricted theme and within a more 
compressed time frame, Commercial Los Angeles, 
1925-1947 (Glendale, Calif: Interurban Press, 1981, 
144 pp., paper, $14.95), is not without merit. Com- 


The junction of Main, Spring and Nineteenth, 1917. 


Before some persons who filled Los Angeles' Olympic Stadium, athletes from fifty different 
countries marched in a "Parade of the Nations" to officially open the 1932 Olympic games. 



piled by Bill Bradley, this book contains 151 photo- 
graphs from the "Dick" Whittington Studio of 
Los Angeles. The photographs arc arranged on a 
chronological basis with a running commentary 
supplied by the compiler. Bold face type identifies 
each company with smaller type under each picture, 
where appropriate, providing limited additional 
information. Bradley's commentaries present more 
information than do the captions. The latter might 
more properly be called labels. This book, at best, is a 
nostalgic one, but it will provide informed pleasure. 

Thus has Los Angeles' 200th birthday been cele- 
brated in pic and print. Perhaps in another hundred 
years it will warrant a multi-volume history of the 
city itself. Until that time, when a definitive history is 
published, these current books at least have en- 
lightened and informed us on many dimensions of 
one of the nation's largest and most famed cities. 
Happy Birthday, Los Angeles! Muchos anos mas\ 

The photograph of the Olympics is courtesy of the Los Angeles 
Times. All others are from the CHS Library. 

Women aircraft workers prepare 
another plane for service during 
World War II. 


Book Reviews 

At Lis oj California 

By Michael W. Donley, et. al. (Culver City: Pacific Book 
Center, 1979, 191 pp.). 

Reviewed by Warren A. Beck, Professor of History at 
California State University, Fullerton, and author of several 
books and an atlas on California. 

This is a work simply bursting with conventional and 
unconventional information. It is a large book of 175 
beautifully colored maps which make it invaluable for 
anyone interested in California. The large number of 
graphs and charts and the extensive textual material make 
this as much an encyclopedia as an atlas. There are four 
basic sections titled the human imprint, economic pat- 
terns, physical environment, and reference; in the latter 
there is a sub-section, a gazetteer. 

The human imprint section has all of the maps one 
would expect to find in a work like this from Indians, 
missions, land grants, to gold mining. Land use maps of 
the most populous areas of the state are a welcome 
addition. Colored maps of the evolution of the down- 
town areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles are an im- 
portant feature. Numerous graphs and charts answer 
virtually any question a reader might have about popu- 
lation from density to ethnic characteristics to religion. A 
series of maps show all the high schools, colleges, and 
universities in the state. Unfortunately, there were some 
omissions in the listing of private institutions. A chart on 
average high school salaries is meaningless because such 
material is soon dated by inflation. 

The economic section is also most complete with in 
depth treatment of agriculture, water, minerals, fisheries 
and trade and manufacturing. This reviewer is skeptical 
of the value of a map showing newspaper endorsement of 
presidential candidates but welcomes the addition of 
maps on tourist attractions and recreational sites. How- 
ever, to exclude the state historical site at Columbia is a 
surprising omission. Maps of all major professional 
sports in the nation seem out of place in an atlas of 
California. Then too, this reviewer notes many changes 
in the National Basketball Association since the map 
went to press. 

The physical section is as valuable as the other sections. 
In addition to expected coverage of landforms, geology, 
precipitation, soils, etc., there are maps on catastrophes 

and air pollution. 

No reader will agree that every map in this book is 
necessary but all will concur that this is a work which is 
indispensable to anyone interested in the Golden State. 

Law for the Elephant. 

By John Phillip Reid (San Marino: Henry E. Huntington 
Library and Art Gallery, 1980. 440 pp. $18.50). 

Reviewed by John M. Townley, retired Director of the 
Nevada Historical Society. 

When a Professor of Law undertakes interpretation of the 
overland migrations from the Mississippi Valley to the 
Pacific slope between 1 849 and completion of the 
transcontinental railroad almost two decades later, the 
reader should expect something to differ from the more 
traditional histories of emigration by the professional 
historian or enthusiast. Then, to compound this unusual 
situation, the reviewer chosen certainly has no credentials 
as a trails specialist. But, no matter, the book can well 
stand on its own merits regardless of the origins of author 
or reviewer. 

First, the potential reader should be warned that Law 
For the Elephant is no traditional reexamination of the 
emigration process, stressing the romance or even the 
geography of the plains and mountains dividing the 
Mississippi and Pacific. Reid has chosen the overland 
migrations as the laboratory for a premise, which is pre- 
sented fairly early — on page eleven, in fact — and states 
that "... the habits, actions, and values of nineteenth- 
century American society were formed by a behavior- 
ism based on law." For Reid, the homogenous legal 
attitudes and backgrounds of emigrants kept the trail 
orderly, safe and even tidy. The concept that beyond 
Westport chaos, anarchy and unrestrained personal 
freedom reigned supreme is examined in generous, even 
laborious detail, and rejected on the basis of examples 
illustrating its fallacy. To quote, "the standards of 
propriety had not changed. What had been improper 
conduct at home remained improper beyond the western 
frontier." Once having unfurled the banner of peer and 
cultural pressures working effectively to restrain free- 
booting behavior and settle disputes, Reid then employs 


Book Reviews 

the remainder of the work in proving his case with data 
selected from emigrant diaries. 

Frankly, it was enjoyable to read what could be 
described as either a legal brief or history. Despite 
belaboring his point, Reid assembled his arguments 
clearly and pleasantly, so that the act of following the 
author's narrative ran smoothly with enough first-person 
quotations interspersed to retain the nineteenth century 
flavor of the trail. Still, there was the brimstone hint of 
rhetoric about the text. Reid approached overkill at times 
in first, piling instance upon instance of the use of 
Common Law as a knee-jerk reaction among emigrants 
over individual violence, and second, broadly hinting 
that the Turnerian interpreters of the trail's ability to 
transform emigrants into practicing anarchists were 
either legal or historical ignorami (probably both). It was 
interesting to watch Reid point out, with fairness, the 
failings of historians in perceiving some of the trail's 
complexities, particularly those in which property 
determines behavior. This insensitivity of the 
contemporary historian comes from a left-of-center, even 
Marxist orientation, Reid argues, with a suspicion that 
the historians are not without their own rhetorical 
blindspots when property and interpretation are 
involved. In this area, the author appears to be influenced 
more from personal bias than the strength of his 
evidence, although his criticisms bear merit. Still, the 
unusual spectacle of a lawyer getting his own back from 
the historians reads well. He can rest assured that his 
proposals will be tested by the defense, oops, the students 
of the past. 

Some attention should be directed to the book-making 
aspect of the work, which is thoroughly and competently 
done. Type style and size help the reader progress from 
chapter to chapter and the paperstock was chosen for 
good contrast and negative reflectivity. The Huntington 
Library should bear some kind of reward for accepting 
the extra costs of placing footnotes conveniently on the 
page of reference. The illustrations are not spectacular 
and appear as an afterthought, but the index redeems 
whatever failings the volume might have as a 
"picture-book." The bibliography is adequate, but 
reminds one again of the need for an update of Wagner and 
Camp or a contemporary one-volume finding aid to 
manuscript and in-print overland diaries, by date and 
major trail. In conclusion, regarding the dust jacket, am I 
alone in disliking Bruff as an artist? 

California Artists 1935 to 1936. 

By Dewitt Clinton McCall III (Bellflower, California: 
Jones and McCall Enterprises, 1981. 140 illus., 212 pp. 
$50.00, Deluxe Edition, $150.00). 

Reviewed by Bruce Kamerling, Curator of Collections, San 
Diego Historical Society. 

The author of this book states that it is intended to be 
a guide for "Art Dealers, Collectors and Historians 
of California Art." Perhaps the book will appeal to 
unscholarly art dealers and collectors who love to boast 
that the artist of their work is listed in such-and-such a 
reference. For the person seriously interested in 
California art history, however, the book is nearly 
useless. As for historians ... it is common knowledge 
that historians are concerned with dates. The only dates 
presented in this entire book are those on the cover, 
which in many cases are very misleading. 

Without even a brief historical introduction to the 
subject, the first half of this book contains only an 
alphabetical listing of artists, giving their name, place of 
residence, and media in which they worked. This list of 
almost 1 500 names appears to have been compiled from 
the first six volumes of Who's Who in American Art and 
"Information known by the Author" (which presumably 
accounts for the inclusion of one Hester Arnetta McCall). 
None of the valuable biographical information found in 
Who's Who is presented. If the author had at least added 
the volume numbers for each entry, and then called his 
work an illustrated index of California artists listed in 
Who's Who, it might have served some useful purpose. 

The fact that the author contributes no original 
research and did not even check the listings against other 
sources creates some serious flaws. In a quick spot check 
of artists whose last name begins with B, the reviewer 
discovered that Florence Parker Bloser died in 1935, and 
Harry Cassie Best, Leon Bonnet and George Kennedy 
Brandriff died in 1936. Certainly, their inclusion is 
confusing. Even more bewildering is the inclusion of 
museum directors, curators and art dealers such as Carl S. 
Dentzel, Reginald Poland and William R. Valentiner in a 
book which purports to present "California Artists." 
Many of the artists mentioned worked and lived in more 
than one location during the period given, therefore, 
giving only one place of residence without benefit of 


"Chinese Fishing Village from Rincon Point," by Frederick A. Butman 

chronology is often misleading. Donal Hord, for 
example, is listed as a sculptor in Santa Barbara. Hord did 
study at the Santa Barbara School of the Arts from 1926 
to 1928, but spent his entire professional career in San 
Diego. Belle Baranceanu, one of the State's most talented 
and prolific muralists during the thirties and forties, is not 
even mentioned as having done murals. 

Fortunately, the second section of the book which 
contains the 140 illustrations has some merit. The color 
photographs are quite stunning, particularly the glorious 
Alfred Mitchell on the cover. The black and white 
illustrations are, for the most part, excellent, although 
some paintings simply don't "read" well in black and 
white and other images might better have been 

substituted. The selection provides a fairly broad 
cross-section of work, both as to subject matter and 
medium, although only one sculptor's work is shown 
and no murals are illustrated. Again, however, the value 
of this section is diminished by the complete lack of dates. 

The book itself is handsomely produced with 
expensive paper, "library" binding, and quality 
illustrations, which must account for the price. The large- 
type is easy to read and certainly helps pad the "text" 
section. As far as content is concerned, except for the 
illustrations, the same amount of information could have 
been produced on a few instant-printed pages for a couple 
of dollars. The boom in interest in California art history 
has produced a lot of printed material aimed to appeal to 


Book Reviews 

the growing bands of "Art Dealers, Collectors, and 
Historians." Some of this material is useful. Most of it is 
overpriced. This volume, unfortunately, falls into the 
second category. 

San Francisco: Mission to Metropolis. 

By Oscar Lewis (San Diego: Howell North Books, 1980. 
Second Edition, $6.95). 

Reviewed by Re v. John B. McGloin, S.J., Professor of 
History, University of San Francisco and author of San 
Francisco: The Story of a City (1978). 

Oscar Lewis' second edition of his previously published 
(1966) San Francisco: Mission to Metropolis is a welcome 
updating of its story to the present time. (A minor 
miracle should be recorded here: the original price of 
$6.95 has been maintained with the appearance of this 
second edition!). 

Long held in deserved and highest esteem by those 
who know of his many publications, Oscar Lewis may at 
this writing be regarded as the Dean of San Francisco 
historians. The book under consideration has been used 
in many schools and has been read by thousands since 
1966. (It would seem that one need not be a native of 
"The City" to attain distinction as a chronicler of its past: 
Mr. Lewis was born in Redding, California). 

The second edition of Mission to Metropolis is enhanced 
by a partially rewritten chapter entitled "The Contempo- 
rary Scene." Some may wonder why certain "pet topics" 
are not covered here; however, the answer is obvious — it 
was simply a matter of selection and the reader will find 
most important areas, problems, etc. well covered. Some 
aptly chosen and new illustrations further enhance the 
book's value. Despite the fact that an unfortunate last 
page (p. 259) is superfluous, this minor flaw in no way 
subtracts from the worth of this second and partially re- 
vised edition. 

The photograph is from the CHS Fine Arts Collections. 


California History 

California Check List 

By Joy Berry, Reference Librarian 

The California Check List provides notice 
of publication of books, pamphlets, and 
monographs pertaining to the history of 
California. Readers knowing of recent 
publications, including reprints or revised 
editions, which need additional publicity 
are requested to send the following biblio- 
graphical information to the compiler of 
this list: Author, title, location and name 
of publisher, date of publication, number 
of pages, price, and address where item can 
be purchased if not carried at general 

Aidala, Thomas R. Hearst Castle: San 
Simeon. Photographs by Curtis Bruce. 
Hudson Hills Press, 1981. 

Allen, Steve. Funny People. New York: 
Stein and Day, 1982. 

Arnold, Joanne Snider. East of the 
Mountain. Mill Valley: NAN Pro- 
ductions, 1981. 86 pp. Publisher, 220 
Redwood Highway, No. 3, Mill 
Valley, 94941. $6.50. 

Bailey, Margaret J. Those Glorious 
Glamour Years of the Great Hollywood 
Costume Designs. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel 
Press, 1982. $25.00. 

Bailey, Thomas A. The American Pageant 
Revisited. Recollections of a Stanford 
Historian. Stanford: Hoover Institution 
Press, Stanford University, 1981. 
Publisher, Dept. 8100, Stanford, 94305. 


Baker, Lillian. The Concentration Camp 

Conspiracy: A Second Pearl Harbor. 

Lawndale: AFHA Publications, 1982. 

350 pp. Publisher, P.O. Box 372, 

Lawndale, 90260. $8.95. 
Barton, Bruce Walter. The Tree at the 

Center of the World. Santa Barbara: 

Ross-Erickson, Inc., 1981. 321 pp. 

Publisher, 629 State Street, Suite No. 

207, Santa Barbara, 93101. $19.95, 

(cloth); $12.95 (p a P cr )- 
Barton, Charles. Howard Hughes and His 

Flying Boat. Fallbrook: Aero Publishers, 

1982. Publisher, 329 Aviation Road, 

Fallbrook, 92028. $19.95 (cloth); $14.95 


Bass, Charlotta A. Forty Years: Memoirs 
from the Pages of a Newspaper. Los 
Angeles: C.A. Bass, 1979. Photocopy 
of the i960 edition. 

Bayless, Dorothy Martin & M. 

Georgeann Mello. Marriage Affidavits, 
1893-1897, Sacramento County, Cali- 
fornia. Sacramento: D. M. Bayless, 
1981. 158 pp. Author, 6531 Driftwood 
Street, Sacramento, 95831. Limited 

Brancato, Bernice Grace Sanborn. Jenny 
hind: A Collection of Childhood Activities 
and Adventures in Her Birthplace, the 
Gold-mining Town of Jenny hind in the 
Mother-lode Country. Author, 1981. 

128 pp. 

Braun, Ernest. Portrait of the San Fran- 
ciscolOakland Bay Area. Photography by 
Ernest Braun. Text by Lee Foster. 
Portland, Oregon: Graphic Arts Center 
Publishing Co., 1981. 80 pp. 

Bruman, Henry J. Early California: 
Perception and Reality: Papers Read at a 
Clark hihrary Seminar, 12 May 1979. Los 
Angeles: William Andrews Clark 
Memorial Library, 1981. 90 pp. 

Cashin, Fergus. Mae West. New Rochelle, 
New York: Arlington House, 1982. 

Chamberlain, Newell D. The Call of 
Gold: True Tales on the Gold Road to 
Yosemite. 1936. Facsimile reprint with 
additional notes and references. Santa 
Cruz: Western Tanager Press, 1981. 187 
pp. $4.95 (paper). 

Chandler, Raymond. Selected hetters of 
Raymond Chandler. Edited by Frank 
MacShane. New York: Columbia 
University Press, 1981. $19.95. 

Cherny, Robert & William Issel. Presidio, 
Port and Pacific Metropolis. San 
Francisco: Boyd and Fraser, 1981. 

129 pp. $4.95. 

Clausen, Edwin. Chinese and African 
Professionals in California: A Case Study 
of Equality and Opportunity in the United 
States. Washington, D.C.: University 
Press of America, 1982. $7.75. 

Cohen, Phyllis. San Diego, an Introductory 
Bibliography to the Region. Monticello, 


Check List 

111: Vance Bibliographies, 1981. 8 pp. 
$2.00 (paper). 

Cole, Lester, Hollywood Red: The Auto- 
biography of Lester Cole. Palo Alto: 
Ramparts Press, 1982. $12.95. 

Comstock, David Allan. Gold Diners and 
Camp Followers. Grass Valley: Com- 
stock Bonanza Press, 1982. Publisher, 
1 89 1 9 William Quirk Memorial Drive, 
Grass Valley, 95945 • $17.50. 

Conover, David. Finding Marilyn. New 
York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1981. 200 
pp. $14.95. 

Crampton, Frank A. Deep Enough: A 
Working Stiff in the Western Mine Camps. 
Norman, Oklahoma: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1982. 304 pp. $16.95. 

Crosby, Harry W. Last of the Californios. 
Lajolla: Copley Books, 1981. 198 pp. 
$1 1.50. 

Dawdy, Doris Ostrandcr. Artists of the 
American West. Volume IF A Biograph- 
ical Dictionary. Chicago: Sage Books/ 
Swallow Press, 1981. 344 pp. $22.95. 

Dooley, Roger. From Scarf ace to Scarlett: 
American Films in the 1930s . New York: 
Harcourt Brace Jo vanovich, 1981. 
648 pp. $25.00. 

Douglas, Helen Gahagan. A Full Life. 
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982. 

Earthquake '33: Pictorial History of the March 
10, 1933 Long Beach, California Earth- 
quake. Long Beach: Historical Society 
of Long Beach, 198 1. 94 photographs. 
Publisher, 4600 Virginia Road, Long 
Beach, 90807. $7.00. 

Ellis, Iris. S.O.S. Save on Shopping. New 
York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1982. $7.95. 

Ericsson, Mary Kentra. A Ragusan Bride: 
Dubrovnik to San Francisco. Palo Alto: 
Ragusan Press, 1981. 144 pp. Pub- 
lisher, 2527 San Carlos Ave., San 
Carlos, 94070. 

Ferris, Paul. Richard Burton. New York: 
Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 
1982?. 328 pp. $13.95. 

Gells, George and Stanley Musgrove. 
Mae West: A Biography. New York: 
Morrow, 1982. $14.95. 

Green, Stanley. Encyclopaedia of the 

Musical Film. New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1981. 344 pp. $25.00. 

Guiles, Fred Lawrence. Jane Fonda: The 
Actress in Her Time. Garden City: 
Doubleday, 1982. $16.95. 

Haley, Michael. The Alfred Hitchcock 
Album. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: 
Prentice-Hall, 1981. 177 pp. $17.95 
(cloth); $9.95 (pap<-' r )- 

Hasegawa, Yoshino Tajiri & Keith 
Boettcher (ed) Success through 
Perseverance: Japanese- 
Americans in the San Joaquin Valley. 
Fresno: Japanese-American Project, San 
Joaquin Valley Library System, 1980. 

Hearst, Patricia Campbell, with Alvin 
Moscow. Every Secret Thing. Garden 
City, New York: Doubleday, 1982. 

Heizer, Robert F. & Theodora Kroeber. 
Ishi the Last Yahi: A Documentary 
History. Reprint. Berkeley: University 
of California Press, 1981. 242 pp. 
$17.50 (cloth); $6.95 (paper). 

Hildebrand, George. Borax Pioneer: 
Francis Marion Smith. San Diego: 
Howell-North Books, 1981. 

Hitchcock, Ruth Hughes. Leaves of the 
Past, 1828-1880. A Pioneer Register, 
Including an Overview of the History and 
Events of Early Tehama County. Chico: 
Association for Northern California 
Records and Research, 1982? Occa- 
sional publication no. 10. 4x6 micro- 
fiche. Bibliography and index to Part 2. 
Publisher, P.O. Box 3024, Chico, 
95927. $85.00 (cloth); $75.00 (paper). 

Holliday, J. S. The World Rushed In: The 
California Gold Rush Experience. New 
York: Simon & Schuster, 198 1 . 559 pp. 

Howard, Ronald. In Search of My Father. 
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981. 
255 pp. $1 1.95. 

Hylen, Arnold. Los Angeles Before the 
Freeways, 1850-1930: Images of an Era. 
Los Angeles: Dawson's Book Shop, 
1981. Publisher, 535 North Larch- 
mont Blvd., Los Angeles, 90004. 

Jackson, Ronald Vern, Altha Poison, 


( California History 

Shirley P. Zachrison. California. 
Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing 
Systems, [981. Publisher, 1157 East 
1850 South, Bountiful, Utah 84010. 

Kanin, Garson. Together Again. Garden 
City, New York: Doubleday, 1981. 
248 pp. $24.95. 

Kann, Kenneth. Joe Rapoport: The Life of a 
Jewish Radical. Philadelphia: Temple- 
University Press, 1981. 297 pp. $17.50. 

Katz, Judith A. The Business of Show 
Business. New York: Harper and Row. 
1981. 253 pp. $11.50 (cloth); $5.25 

Kaufmann, Preston J. Fox— The Last Word 
. . . Story of the World's Finest Theatre. 
Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1981. 
380 pp. Publisher, P.O. Box 744-C, 
Pasadena, 91 104. $35.00. 

Kegan, Stephanie. Places To Go with 
Children in Southern California. San 
Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1981. 

Kelley, Kitty. Elizabeth Taylor: The Last 
Star. New York: Simon & Schuster, 
1981. 448 pp. $14.95. 

Kobal, John. Hollywood Color Portraits. 
New York: Morrow, 198 1. $19.95. 

La Pena, Frank. Legends of the Yosemite 
Miwok. Yosemite National Park: 
Yosemite Natural History Association, 
198 1. 56 pp. Publisher, P.O. Box 545, 
Yosemite National Park, 95389. 

Lockmann, Ronald F. Guarding the Forests 
of Southern California. Evolving Attitudes 
Toward Conservation of Watershed, 
Woodlands, and Wilderness. Glendale: 
Arthur H. Clark, 198 1. 184 pp. $19.50. 

London, Jack. Sporting Blood: Jack 

London's Greatest Sports Writing. Edited 
by Howard Lachtman. Novato: 
Presidio Press, 1981. Publisher, 31 
Pamaron Way, Novato, 94947. 

McCunn, Ruthanne Lum. Thousand Pieces 
of Gold. San Francisco: Design 
Enterprises of San Francisco, [981. 
Publisher, P.O. Box 14695, San 
Francisco, 941 14. $10.95 (cloth); $5.95 

Mandel, Leon. William Fisk Harrah: The 
Life and Times of a Gambling Magnate. 

Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 

1 98 1 . $14.95. 

Meier, Matt S. and Feliciano Rivera. 
Dictionary of Mexican American History. 
Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood 
Press, 1 98 1 . 472 pp. Publisher, 88 Post 
Road West, Box 5007, Westport, CT 
06881 . $35.00. 

Mitchell, David, Cathy Mitchell and 
Richard J. Ofshe. The Light on Synanon: 
How a Country Weekly Exposed a 
Corporate Cult and Won the Pulitzer 
Prize. Reprint. Sea view: Wideview, 

1982. $7.50. 

Mordden, Ethan. The Hollywood Musical. 
New York: St. Martins Press, 198 1. 261 
pp. $15.95. 

iqo6 Remembered. Edited by Patricia 
Turner. Illustrated by Charlie Aquilina. 
Prepared by the City Guides Oral 
History Committee. San Francisco: 
Friends of the San Francisco Public 
Library, 1981. 80 pp. 

O'Leary, Liam. Rex Ingram: Master of the 
Silent Cinema. New York: Barnes and 
Noble, 198 1 . 224 pp. $28.50. 

Olin, Spencer. CaliJornia Politics Through 
the Progressive Era. San Francisco: Boyd 
& Fraser, 1981. 

Perkins, Peter. Chinatown, San Francisco. 
Photographs by Peter Perkins. Text 
by Richard Reinhardt. Berkeley: 
Lancaster-Miller, 1982. Publisher, 3165 
Adeline St., Berkeley, 94703. $9.95. 

Pettigrew, Terence. Bogart: A Definitive 
Study of His Film Career. New York: 
Proteus, 1982. $8.95 (paper). 

Phillips, George. California Indians. San 
Francisco: Boyd & Fraser, 1981. 

Pierce, Marjorie. East of the Galians: The 
Ranches, the Towns, the People— Yesterday 
and Today. 1977. Reprint. Santa Cruz: 
Western Tanager Press, 1981. 194 pp. 
Publisher, 1 1 1 1 Pacific Ave., Santa 
Cruz, 95060. $17.95 (cloth); $9.95 

Pirie, David (ed.) Anatomy of the Movies. 
New York: Macmillan, 1981. 320 pp. 

Preston, William L. Vanishing Landscape: 
Land and Life in the Tulare Lake Basin. 


Check List 

Barkclcy: University of California 
Press, 1980. 

Quinn, Arthur. Broken Shore: The Marin 
Peninsula. Salt Lake City, Utah: Pere- 
grine Smith, [981. 1 80 pp. $1 1 .95. 

Rintoul, William. Drilling Ahead: Tapping 
California's Richest Oil Fields. Santa 
Cruz: Valley Publishers, 1981. Pub- 
lisher, 1 1 1 1 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 
95060. $19.95. 

Rolle, Andrew. Los Angeles: From Pueblos 
to City of the Future. San Francisco: 
Boyd & Fraser, 1981 . 

Scovel, Doris. The Fortune Seekers: Talcs 
of California from History and Folklore. 
Fresno: Pioneer Publishing Co., 1981. 
267 pp. $14.95. 

Selvin, David. A Place in the Sun: 
A History of California Labor. San 
Francisco: Boyd & Fraser, 1981. 

Sennett, Ted. Hollywood Musicals. New 
York: Abrams, 1981. 384 pp. $50.00. 

Shilts, Randy. The Mayor of Castro Street: 
The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. New 
York: St. Martin's Press, 198 1. 400 pp. 


Spada, James. Streisand: The Woman and 
the Legend. Garden City, New York: 
Doublcday, 1981. 250 pp. $24.95. 

Stern, Norton (ed.) The Jews of Los 
Angeles: Urbati Pioneers. Los Angeles: 
Southern California Jewish Historical 
Society, 1981. Publisher, 6505 Wilshire 
Blvd., Los Angeles, 90048. $5.00. 

Stern, Norton B. and William M. 

Kramer. Morris L. Goodman: The First 
American Councilman of the City of Los 
Angeles. Santa Monica: Norton B. 
Stern, 1981. 31 pp. Author, 2429 23rd 
St., Santa Monica, 90405. $15.00. 

Teichman, Howard. Fonda: My Life. New 
York: NAL Books, 1981. $15.95. 

Treadwcll, Edward F. The Cattle King: A 
Dramatized Biography. Reprint. Santa 
Cruz: Western Tanager Press, 198 1 . 375 
pp. Publisher, 1 1 1 1 Pacific Ave., Santa 
Cruz, 95060. $7.95 (paper). 

Trinity County Historic Sites. Weaverville: 
Trinity County Historical Society, 
1981. 432 pp. Publisher, P.O. Box 333, 
Weaverville, 96093. $22.65. 

Tsuchida, Adelaida C. Filipino Migrants 
in San Diego, 1QOO-1Q40. San Diego: 
Author, 1 98 1. Author, 756 Picador 
Blvd., San Diego, 92154. $6.35. 

200 Treasures of Metropolitan Los Angeles. 
Los Angeles: Automobile Club of 
Southern California, 1980. 84 pp. 
Publisher, 2601 S. Figueroa St., Los 
Angeles, 90007. 

Warren, Doug. Betty Grable: The Reluctant 
Movie Queen. New York: St. Martin's 
Press, 1981. $12.95. 

Weber, David. Oakland: Hub of the West. 
Tulsa, Oklahoma: Continental 
Heritage Press, 1981. 224 pp. Publisher, 
P.O. Box 1620, Tulsa, 74101. $24.95. 

Weber, Francis J. The Laurelwood Mission: 
A Documentary History of Santa Clara de 
Asis. Los Angeles: Dawson's Book 
Shop, 1981. 314 pp. $14.00. 

Weber, Francis J. The Old Plaza Church: A 
Documentary History. Los Angeles: 
Dawson's Book Shop, 1981. 222 pp. 

Wcis, Elizabeth (ed.) The Movie Star. 
National Society of Film Critics. 
381 pp. $12.95. 

Weschler, Lawrence. Seeing Is Forgetting 
the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life 
of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin. 
Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1982. $14.95. 

Whitfield, Valliejo Fox. History of 
Pleasant Hill, California. First Edition. 
Pleasant Hill: Whitfield Books, 198 1. 
397 pp. Publisher, 1841 Pleasant Hill 
Road, Pleasant Hill, 94523. $19.95 
(cloth); $15.00 (paper). 

Worden, William L. Cargoes: Matson's 
First Century in the Pacific. Honolulu: 
University of Hawaii, 1981. 192 pp. 


Coming Through: 
A Wells Fargo Tradition. 

A rare combination of personal effort 
and banking innovation built Wells Fargo 

And Wells Fargo has been helping the 
West grow since 1852. 

Today in California, across the continent 
and around the world, Wells Fargo is still 
coming through. 

Wells Fargo Bank 




Massachusetts 02138 

"This book is the first substantial study of the California tax revolt. It is well 
crafted and well written and has great depth and sophistication. The topic is 
of intense interest and importance ... A significant work."- Walter Dean Burnham 

Sears and Citrin provide an in-depth analysis of the most recent taxpayers' 
rebellion that erupted in California in 1978- Howard Jarvis and Proposition 13, 
the Gann measure of 1979, and Proposition 9 (Jarvis II ) of 1980. 
Combining political and social psychology theory and testing cultural and 
economic explanations for the events, the authors show that the California 

experience was not a quirk, but had portentous significance for the entire nation. 


Something for Nothing in California 

David O. Sears and Jack Citrin 

$22.50 At bookstores or directly from the publisher. 

CHS Register of Historic California Businesses 

The C California Historical Society is pleased to recognize the following California centennial businesses for their support 
of the new Register of I listone C California Businesses. The Register program seeks to preserve and promote California's 
business and economic history, and to provide special recognition for businesses which have existed in California for over 
one hundred years. 

FOUNI )!N( i SI'l >NSc >KS - Sjooo-up 
foremost- McKesson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Homestake Mining Company, 

San Francisco 
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, 

San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 

FOUNDING MhMBhRS -$ioo-$yyg 

Butterfield and Butterfield, San Francisco 
Gensler-Lee Diamonds, San Francisco 
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, 

San Francisco 
Haas Brothers, San Francisco 
MJB Coffee, San Francisco 

CHS Donors 


Mrs. Alysse W. Allen, San Francisco 
Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr., 

San Marino 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Banning, 

Mr. and Mrs. Dix Boring, 

San Francisco 
The Broadway Department Stores, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Cannell, 

The S.H. Co well Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. J. Hewes Crispin, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. and Mrs. George Ditz, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Dr. Ludwig A. Emge, Grass Valley 
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Foremost-McKcsson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. Joe Gobert, Brisbane 
Mrs. William Grant, Honolulu 
Mr. & Mrs. Ivan B. Hart, Piedmont 

William Randolph Hearst Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Clarence E. Heller, Atherton 
Helen and George High, San Bruno 
Homestake Mining Co., San Francisco 
Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
The James Irvine Foundation, 

San Francisco 
The William G. Irwin Charity 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Elizabeth Bixbyjaneway, Santa Barbara 
Mr. John E. Keller, Lafayette 
Dr. Oscar Lemer, San Francisco 
Mr. Henry F. Lippitt, II, Los Angeles 
Livingston Bros., San Francisco 
Mrs. Maurice Machris, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Virginia Morell, Menlo Park 
Dan Murphy Foundation, Los Angeles 
National Endowment for the Arts 
National Endowment for the 

National Historical Publications and 

Records Commission 
Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Joseph Paul, Ross 

Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
San Francisco Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
State Office of Historic Preservation, 

Mr. and Mrs. Norman B. Terry, II, 

Los Angeles 
Ticor, Los Angeles 
Union Pacific Foundation, 

New York City 
Mrs. Dorothy Wiles, Redding 


Mrs. M. F Allende, Belvedere 
Ampex Corporation, Redwood City 
The Annenberg Fund, Inc., 

Beverly Hills 
Architectural Resources Group, 

San Francisco 
Atlantic Richfield Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Dr. Joseph A. Baird, Jr. , San Francisco 


Florence M. Baker, Portola Valley 
The R. C. Baker Foundation, Orange 
Mrs. James S. Black, Jr., Hillsborough 
The James G. Boswell Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. Walter Braun, Beverly Hills 
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, 

Los Angeles 
Mrs. Ernest A. Bryant, III, 

Laguna Beach 
Estate of Mr. Royal Robert Bush, 

Santa Barbara 
Dr. and Mrs. Richard Call, Pasadena 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buffington 

Carter, Colusa 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Crowley Foundation, San Francisco 
Crowley Maritime Corp., 

San Francisco 
Helen Baker Curne, Portola Valley 
Mr. Penn DeRoche, Oakland 
Mrs. Lewis T. Dobbins, Berkeley 
Mrs. Virginia Woods Fallon, 

Santa Rosa 
Mrs. Joseph C. Fennelly, San Francisco 
Estate of Mrs. Frank W. Fuller, 

Gauger, Sparks, Silva, Inc., 

San Francisco 
Mr. George D. Gavin, San Francisco 
General Electric Company, Campbell 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Gerald Gray, Lafayette 
Mr. and Mrs. George N. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Dorothea H. Harding, Berkeley 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Hartley, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Hendricks, 

Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Hendricks, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Holmes, 

Pebble Beach 
Hotchkis Foundation, Los Angeles 
Hyatt on Union Square, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, 

San Jose 
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest A. Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 

Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation, 

Beverly Hills 
Loomis-Sayles & Co., San Francisco 
Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr. , Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. McDevitt, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Edgar N. Meakin, Hillsborough 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Moore, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. David H. Murdock, 

Beverly Hills 
National Trust for Historic Preservation 
Mr. & Mrs. V Aubrey Neasham, 

Mr. Greg Nelson, Reno, Nevada 
Mr. Harry L. Nickerson, Castro Valley 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogden, Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. David Packard, Los Altos 
Mrs. Edwin Pauley, Beverly Hills 
Mr. Thomas V Reeve, II, Villa Park 
Dr. and Mrs. John Dowling Rclfe, 

San Francisco 
Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Simpson III, 

Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 
Harry G. Steele Foundation, 

Newport Beach 
Mr. and Mrs. Hart H. Tantau, 

San Francisco 
Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Truman, Oakland 
The Waste Family Fund, San Francisco 
Mrs. Warren B. Williamson, Pasadena 


Friends of CHS 

Individual Members 

(IN I 1 NNIAL — $1000-24.).) 

Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr., Marino 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert |. Banning, Pasadena 
Miss Beda Berg, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. William J. Bettingen, 

Beverly Hills 
Mr. t\ Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 
Mrs. Henry Cartan, Athcrton 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buffington Carter, 

Mr. & Mrs. J. Hewes Crispin, Santa Barbara 
Mrs. Ralph K. Davies, Woodside 
Mr. &. Mrs. George Ditz,Jr., San Francisco 
Mr. O. Dewey Donnell, Sonoma 
Mr. & Mrs. Fred S. Farr, Carmel 
Mr. James R. Galbraith, Beverly Hills 
Mr. & Mrs. George N. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. James R. Harvey, San Francisco 
Mr. Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Warren R. Howell, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. David Huntington, 

Glenbrook, Nevada 
Mrs. Gladys Q. Knapp, Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, San Jose- 
Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Allen Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 
Mrs. Western Logan, Oakland 
Mrs. Maurice A. Machris, Los Angeles 
Drs. Knox and Carlotta Mellon, Sacramento 
Mr. & Mrs. James S. Miller, Geyserville 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogdcn, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Otter, Belvedere 
Mr. & Mrs. David Packard, Los Altos Hills 
Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Pike, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert H. Power, Nut Tree- 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. W.J. Shirley, Pasadena 
Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
Mr. & Mrs. Norman B. Terry, II, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Lockwood Tower, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Nick B. Williams, South Laguna 

BENEFACTOR — $500-999 

Mr. & Mrs. Stephen D. Bcchtel, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. John A. Blume, San Francisco 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Bridges, 

San Franciseo 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph K. Cannell, Pasadena 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Chinn, 

San Franciseo 
Mr. & Mrs. Guy C. Earl, Jr., 

Warner Springs 
Mr. <S. Mrs. David Fleishhacker, 

San Franciseo 
Dr. Harvey Glasser, San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Greene, Los Angeles 
Mr. Alfred Harrison, Berkeley 
Ms. Leslie D. Jaffc, Sausalito 
Mr. & Mrs. LeRoy F. Krusi, Walnut Creek 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas H. May, Oakville 
Ms. Clytie P. Mead, Newport Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence V. Metcalf, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Remi A. Nadeau, San Jose 
Dr. Ynez O'Neill, Los Angeles 
Brycc Rhodes, Santa Cruz 
Mrs. Calvin K. Townsend, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Walter G. Warren, Los Gatos 
Mrs. Paul L. Wattis, San Francisco 
Mrs. Alice Whitson, Willow Creek 
Mrs. Dean Witter, San Francisco 
Mrs. Helen Woodward, Los Angeles 

ASSOCIATE — $250-499 

Edward C. Allred, Los Angeles 
Alice O'Neill Avery, Los Angeles 
Mr. George Hugh Banning, La Jolla 
Mrs. Walter C. Batcman, Jr., Pasadena 
Mr. James R. Bronkema, San Francisco 
Mrs. Donohoe Carter, Gilroy 
Mr. & Mrs. Sherman Chickering, 

San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Clark, Jr., San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Sutcliffe Coe, San Jose- 
Mr. Newton A. Cope, San Francisco 
Mrs. Chester R. F. Cramer, Greenbrae 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Mr. Michael Cullivan, Alameda 
Mr. Burnham Enersen, San Francisco 
Dr. and Mrs. Edward R. Evans, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Devoe Field, 

San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. William R. Fielder, Athcrton 
Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker, Jr. , 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Winston R. Fuller, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Peter E. Haas, San Francisco 
Mr. Raymond T. Haas, San Rafael 

Mrs. George Fiske Hammond, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Hcimbucher, Berkeley 
Mr. Clarence L. Heller, Athcrton 
Mrs. Elise Higgins, Mountain View 
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Holmes, Pebble Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Robin Hood, Aptos 
Mr. Preston B. Hotchkis, San Marino 
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California History 

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summer 1982 


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Once called "a very mount of inspiration" Mt. 
Tamalpais has numerous literary associations which 
are discussed in the article beginning on page 82. 
The mountain is seen here in a detail from 
William Birch McMurtrie's painting, c. 1855. 
Courtesy of the Bancroft Library. 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society 




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Literary Associations With Mt. Tamalpais 82 


Disney's Independence Lake Project: A Case Study of 
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The Tree That Crossed a Continent 120 



The San Diego Historical Society 
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It was most grand, more like some views of the Alps 
than anything I have seen before -those glimpses of the 
landscape beneath through foggy curtains. 
(William H. Brewer, after a climb in 1862 while 
mapping for the California Geological Survey; the 
first written account of a climb to the summit.) 

There is no finer mountain for its height— two thousand 
six hundred feet -on all the continent of America, than 

(Albert S. Evans, editor of the San Francisco Daily 
Alta, after an unsuccessful bear hunt on the 
Mountain in i86y. 

Sometimes in cathedrals one feels the awe and majesty 
of columns. These columns were more impressive than 
anything of stone; these columns were alive. They were 
more like gods than anything I have ever seen. 
(John Masefield, after a visit to Muir Woods in 
January 1937.) ' 

For well over a century Mt. Tamalpais, near San 
Francisco, has been a source of inspiration to poets 
and painters, as well as a mecca for millions of 
visitors. The name is derived from two Indian words 
tamal for bay and pais for mountain. It was also 
called Table Hill and Table Mountain. The earliest 
documented climbs were in 1862, but it would be 
nice to think that much earlier some young sailor 
from a Yankee whaler, sent ashore at Sausalito for 
wood and water, found the temptation irresistible to 
climb to the top. An old visitor register, kept on the 
mountain from 1880 to 1884, has the signatures of 

850 persons who had climbed to the highest point. 
By the 1920s, many thousands of hikers arrived at 
the mountain every weekend, thronging across 
from San Francisco and Berkeley by ferry to 
Sausalito and then by train to Mill Valley. From 
1896 to 1930, the ride to the summit on the Mount 
Tamalpais Scenic Railway as as much de rigueur for 
visitors to San Francisco as a ride on the cable cars or 
a visit to the Cliff House. And ever since its opening 
in 1908, Muir Woods, nestled at the foot of the 
mountain, has been a nationally known attraction, 
with nowadays more than a million visitors each 
year. 2 

It is a small wonder therefore that many writers, 
the famous and not-so- famous, have celebrated 
the mountain's charms. Robert Louis Stevenson 
( 1 850-1 894), though only briefly in the Bay Area, 
was much impressed with its romantic beauty. On 
his first arrival, in August 1879, after leaving the 
transcontinental train in Oakland, he came across to 
San Francisco in the early morning on the ferry. 
Later, in the Amateur Immigrant, he described his 
impression of the scene: 

A spot of cloudy gold lit first upon the head of Tamalpais, 
and then widened downward on its shapely shoulder; the 
air seemed to awaken, and began to sparkle; and suddenly 

Dr. Lincoln Fairlcy, originally a New Englandcr, was trained as 
an economist and until retirement, has always been immersed in 
issues oflabor relations, as student, teacher, researcher, econ- 
omist for international unions, author, and finally as arbitrator. 
He is chairman of the Tamalpais History Project and is writing a 
book on the history of Mt. Tamalpais, of which the present 
article is designed to be the opening chapter. 


Lincoln Fairley 



Mt. Tamalpais peeks through the clouds in this illustration for the poem "Tamalpais" from 
Poems by Charles Warren Stoddard (San Francisco: A. Roman and Co., 1867). 


Robert Louis Stevenson aboard the Casco, which he 

chartered to take him to the South Seas. 

Taken in 1888, the photograph shows Stevenson 

standing at the far right. 

"The tall hills Titan discovered," and the city of San 
Francisco, and the bay of gold and corn, were lit from end 
to end with summer daylight. 3 

In the Silverado Squatters, after living for a time on 
Mt. Saint Helena, he wrote of seeing Mt. Tamalpais 
from a Vallejo hill: 

More of the bay became apparent, and soon the blue 
peak of Tamalpais rose above the green level of the 
island opposite. 

And in the same essay: 

For Tamalpais stands sentry, like a lighthouse, over the 
Golden Gate, between the bay and the open ocean, and 
looks down indifferently on both. 4 

Stevenson used other descriptions: "Tamalpais, a 
mountain of memorable figure, springing direct 
from the sea level, over-plumbs the narrow entrance 
from the north." 5 Again, he pays the Mountain 
perhaps his finest compliment, comparing it to a 
scene in his beloved Edinburgh: "... and the fine 
bulk of Tamalpais looking down on San Francisco, 
like Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh." 6 

No other natural feature of the Bay area made such 
an impression on Stevenson during his very brief 
visits here. He found Tamalpais a happy contrast 
to San Francisco itself. Describing Telegraph and 
Russian Hills, he says: 

Everywhere the same tumble-down decay and sloppy 
progress, new things yet unmade, old things tottering to 
their fall; everywhere the same out-at-elbows many- 
nationed loungers at dim, irregular grog-shops; every- 
where the same sea-air and isleted 7 sea-prospect; and for a 
last and more romantic note, you have on the one hand 
Tamalpais standing high in the blue air, and on the other 
the tail of that long alignment of three-masted, full-rigged, 
deep-sea ships that make a forest of spars along the eastern 
front of San Francisco. 8 

Several years later he came through San Francisco 
on his way to the South Seas. Before setting sail on 
the Casco he wrote: "Though the other states were 
to put all their dollars together, they could not 

manufacture a Tamalpais." 9 And still later, when 
writing The Wrecker, he had his hero, Loudon Dodd, 
visit San Francisco and report: "I was a frequent 
wanderer on North Beach, gazing at the straits, and 
the huge Cape-Horners creeping out to sea, and 
imminent Tamalpais." 10 

Though Stevenson was charmed by Mt. 
Tamalpais, he never climbed it, so far as the records 
show. The first writer known to have done so was 
Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887), whose long poem 
"The Hermitage" was inspired by his camping on 
the mountain in the spring of 1862, well before 
Stevenson's visits to San Francisco. Harold French, 
himself one of the early hikers on Mt. Tamalpais (his 
first ascent was on May Day, 1892) and the founder 
of one of the best known hiking clubs, the Contra 
Costa Hills Club, wrote about Sill: 

First of the Tamalpais pioneers who opened the eyes of the 
world to the Sleeping Lady's ineffable fascination, was a 
young poet of but twenty-two, Edward Rowland Sill. In 
the summer of sixty-two, he camped for a month under a 
great oak above Laurel Dell, hard by the lone dogwood 
tree. Five years later, his first book of poems, "The 
Hermitage," heralds Mount Tamalpais as one of the 
newly-discovered pleasure places of California. 11 

As "The Hermitage" tells the story, Sill built 
himself a hut and lived there alone. The poem is 
much too long to quote in full (40 pages), but a few 
lines follow: 

See: I am come to live alone with thee. 
But I come with my life almost untried 
Teach me thy wisdom; let me learn the flowers, 
And know the rocks and trees. 

About his hut, he wrote: 

Against the huge trunk of a storm snapped tree, 
I've built of saplings and long limbs a hut. 
Thatched with thick-spreading palms of pine, 
And tangled over by a wandering vine, 

(The Mountain had failed to teach Sill that there are 


no native pines on it, so his thatch was either fir or 
redwood. Hopefully the "wandering vine" was not 
poison oak.) 

The only specific reference to Mt. Tamalpais is in 
these lines: 

I sat last night on yonder ridge of rocks 

To see the sun set over Tamalpais, 

Whose tinted peak, suffused with rosy mist, 

Blended the colors of the sea and sky 

And made the mountain one great amethyst 

Hanging against the sunset. 12 

Sill was among the first of a coterie of writers who 
contributed to the burst of literary activity which 
Franklin Walker describes in San Francisco's Literary 
Frontier. 13 These included Mark Twain and such 
well-known writers as Bret Harte and Ambrose 

Biercc. Other poets, besides Sill, were Charles 
Warren Stoddard (1843- 1923), Ina Coolbrith 
( 1 841- 1 928) and Daniel O'Conncll (1848- 1899), who 
had large folio wings in their day, but have now been 
largely forgotten. 

All these writers, with the exception of Mark 
Twain, have left some record that they, in Harold 
French's phrase, were touched by the Mountain's 
"ineffable fascination." Stoddard's first book of 
poems actually predated Sill's, coming out in 1867. 
His "Tamalpais," was illustrated with a woodcut by 
William Keith, who subsequently became one of the 
best known painters of California landscapes, in- 
cluding a number of Tamalpais. 14 

Stoddard wrote another "Tamalpais" poem that 
catches some of the aura that the poets loved. This is 


Joaquin Miller (1841-1913) together with 
Ina Coolbrith gathered laurel boughs on 
Mt. Tamalpais which he took to England 
to place on the grave of Lord Byron. 

the concluding stanza: 

Broad banners of mist thread through the gate, 

And gather about him cold as a shroud; 
But little he cares, for his bare hoary pate 

Is capped with the sunlight over the cloud. 
Brave Tamalpais! he looks so grand, 

Bluffing the oceans off, guarding the land. 15 

Elsewhere, in prose, Stoddard again dwells on the 
fog. "Sailing into the adjacent summer, — summer 
is intermittent in the green city of the West, — we 
passed into the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, the great 
landmark of the coast. The admirable outline of the 
mountain, however, was partially obscured by the 

fog, already massing on its slopes." 16 Anyone who 
has sailed on San Francisco Bay will remember 
similar transitions from "summer" to chill though, 
begging the poet's pardon, one may have trouble 
getting into the mountain's shadow because it is 
north of the bay. 

It was a close friend of Stoddard's, Ina Coolbrith, 
who made the greatest impression on their con- 
temporaries. Though few remember her or her 
poetry, she lived to achieve recognition as Poet 
Laureate of California. The laurel crown was con- 
ferred by President Benjamin Ide Wheeler of the 
University of California on June 29, 1915, toward 


Mt. Tamalpais 

the end of her long life. 17 But this was only the 
culmination of earlier honors. An "Ina Coolbrith 
Day" had been held in her honor in 1907, when she 
was referred to as the "Sweet Singer of the Golden 
Gate." 18 On another occasion, at a testimonial by the 
Bohemian Club (of which she was only an associate 
member because women were not admitted to full 
membership), her friend Daniel O'Connell, himself 
a poet and an active Club member, read a poem that 
he addressed to her, in which he called her 

A sweet and true interpreter 

Stream, wood, and sea have found in her 

We honor now . . . 19 

Coolbrith, Stoddard and Bret Harte together were 

known as the "Golden Gate Trinity" or, in less 
distinguished language, the "Bohemians." Samuel 
Dickson in Tales of San Francisco, wrote of them: 
"We . . . know that at almost any hour of the day or 
night you were likely to find the three of them seated 
on the floor of Ina's little Russian Hill house, 
drinking coffee and reading poetry, especially the 
poetry of the one poet that Ina adored above all the 
others — Lord Byron. 20 And Dickson adds: "We 
know that day after day they were seen hiking the 
trails of Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods, or 
drinking wine in little shops in Sausalito." 21 

Unlike Stoddard, Bret Harte has left no poems 
about the mountain, but Coolbrith wrote several. 

Ina Coolbrith as a young woman. She 

wrote several poems about Mt. 

Tamalpais, among which the best known 

is "California." It was first published in 

1871 and later appeared in the i8gs 

volume Songs From the Golden Gate. 


Best known is "California" (1871), later published 
in Songs from the Golden Gate in 1895. In this she refers 
twice to Mt. Tamalpais, in one place recalling the 
"faint smell/of laurel up the slopes of Tamalpais," and 
then in the last stanza: 

Was it wind, or the soft sigh of leaves, 

Or sound of singing waters? Lo, I looked 

And saw the silvery ripples of the brook, 

The fruit upon the hills, the waving trees, 

And mellow fields of harvest; saw the Gate 

Burn in the sunset; the thin thread of mist 

Creep white across the Saucelito hills; [an early spelling] 

Till the day darkened down the ocean rim, 

The sunset purple slipped from Tamalpais. 

And bay and sky were bright with sudden stars. 22 

This poem, "California," Coolbrith read on 
Mount Tamalpais itself in 1896. She had given a 
paper at a convention of the Pacific Coast Women's 
Press Association, after which they all took "the train 
to the top of Mt. Tamalpais for an outing in the mild 
autumn sunshine." There, she read "California." 23 

Out of Coolbrith's love of Tamalpais and her 
reverence for Byron's poetry grew a charming 
episode. Coolbrith and her friend Joaquin Miller 
(1841-1913), also an admirer of Byron's poetry, were 
outraged to hear that Byron's grave at the old 
Norman church at Hucknall Torkard (England) was 
neglected and overgrown with weeds. Miller, who 
had not yet made his mark as a writer, planned to 
barnstorm England. The day before he left, they 
decided to do something to honor Byron. Together, 
they took the ferry to Sausalito, climbed up the slope 
of Mt. Tamalpais, and brought back some laurel 
boughs. That evening she wove a wreath out of the 
laurel and wrote a poem. These she entrusted to 
Miller to take with him to England in August of 
1874. As she wrote much later: 

I wrote my "With a Wreath of Laurel" and made a 
wreath of laurel which I sent by Joaquin to the poet's grave 
in Hucknall Torkard Church. Joaquin faithfully deposited 
it there, but some enemies of Byron objected; his friends 
took it up and the dispute grew violent. The King of 


A plaque to Ralph Waldo Emerson was dedicated in Muir 
Woods on May 25, 1903. It is attached to a large redwood 

The naturalist John Muir recalled: 

"I used to run out on short excursions to Mount Tamalpais, and 

I always brought back a lot of flowers. . . ." 

Greece took up the fight, added another wreath, and placed 
both under glass to preserve them — and attention being 
called to the ruinous condition of the church which was 
almost falling down, Byron's adherents caused it to be 
restored, and it is now in splendid condition. A fund is be- 
ing raised to keep it so. All this from my little wreath. 24 
[Emphasis is Ina Coolbrith's.] 

Ambrose Bierce was another of Coolbrith's 
friends. Troubled by asthma attacks in San Fran- 
cisco, he went for relief to San Rafael. There, his 
biographer, Carey McWilliams, reports: "They (he 
and his future wife) had a group of friends that went 
on boating and picnicking expeditions, among 
whom were Ina Coolbrith and Charles Warren 
Stoddard." 25 McWilliams does not say whether any 
of these picnics were on Mount Tamalpais, but a few 
years later, in 1875, after Bierce went to live in San 
Rafael, the mountain became one of his objectives: 
"He could tramp the brown hillsides with their 
evenly spaced clusters of green, umbrella-like trees. 
He took long walks up Mt. Tamalpais where the sun 
burned down upon the slanting hillsides with 
warming indolence." 26 

Clarence Urmy (1 858-1923), another of this same 
coterie, has left a poem "As I Came Down Mt. 
Tamalpais" which has been referred to as "perhaps 
the most famous of the lyrics inspired by its mighty 
crest." 27 As the poem itself indicates, Urmy not only 
wrote about the Mountain, but climbed it. The last 
stanza follows: 

As I came down Mount Tamalpais, 

To West Heaven's gateway opened wide, 
And through it, freighted with day-cares, 

The cloud-ships floated with the tide; 
Then silently through stilly air, 

Starlight flew down from Paradise, 
Folded her silver wings and slept 

Upon the slopes of Tamalpais. 

Daniel O'Connell (1849- 1899), who had praised 
Coolbrith at the Bohemian Club testimonial, himself 

had intimate connections with the mountain though 
neither his small volume, Lyrics, nor his Songs from 
Bohemia, contains any specific reference to it although 
O'Connell lived in Sausalito. 

With a stout stick, and accompanied by his daughters, he 
would often be seen sallying forth from his rustic lodge to 
tramp over the hills and through canyons, exploring the 
apparently inaccessible, viewing and absorbing the 
wondrous beauty of woodland freshness, airy heights, and 
rugged cliffs. 28 

O'Connell died in 1899. He is memorialized by a 
granite seat located in Sausalito near the corner of 
Bulkley and Harrison Avenues, only a short distance 
from the cottage he had occupied. 







An "Acrostic Sonnet" to Mt. Tamalpais, 
c. 1916. Little is known about the author 
or publisher. 

A N 



ajestic Watcher o'er the Colder) Caie, 

O Sentinel beside the Sunset Sea, 
Ultima Thule's last outpost, westerly 
Nomadic man no further can migrate. 
Though standing /i^e a sentry obdurate, 

(tj.o ward intruders off apparently. 
Applying harsh "repeller" unto Thee 
Most wrongly would Thy nature designate. 
Attracting all who from THE CITY flee. 
Loved, not feared like Thy brothers desolate. 
Proud, frigid, snow-capped from eternity, 

Is Thy best title and Thy grandest trait. 
Superb, surpassing hospitality. 


Left to right: John Muir, William Kent and J. H. Cutter at Muir Woods National 

Monument, sometime between igo8 and IQ13. They are standing in front of the Inn operated 

by the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway. Cutter was first president of the Tamalpais 

Conservation Club (founded in 1Q12). 


Many other poets have responded to the spiritual 
and aesthetic influence of Mt. Tamalpais, but space 
prevents quoting their verses. 29 Besides the poets 
who have written about the Mountain or have been 
known to climb it, there are many other literary 
figures whose lives have been connected with it. 
Among them is Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). 
In Muir Woods National Monument is a brass plaque 
in commemoration of the 100th birthday of the 
"Sage of Concord." It reads, "1803 — Emerson — 
1903." The plaque is attached to a big redwood 

which some call the finest in Muir Woods. 30 

The plaque was dedicated on May 25, 1903 before 
the Monument was created (1908). Bailey Millard, 
historian of the Bay Region, presided. Present were 
Jack London, George Sterling (poet), Edward B. 
Taylor (later mayor of San Francisco), Herman 
Scheffaur (writer), Austin Lewis (writer), and Mr. and 
Mrs. Morrison F. Pixley of Corte Madera. (Pixley, as 
early as 1890, had urged his friend William Kent to 
buy Redwood Canyon to preserve it as a public park). 
Messages were read from John Muir and from 


California History 

Emerson's son, Edward Waldo Emerson. 31 
Emerson had been in San Franeisco on a lecture tour 
in April and May, 1871 , but there is no record of his 
going to Redwood Canyon. 32 

This trip to California was the occasion of his visit 
to Yosemite as reported with some disgust by John 
Muir. Muir was ecstatic when he heard that Emerson 
was coming to the Valley. "I was excited as I had 
never been excited before, and my heart throbbed as 
if an angel direct from heaven had alighted on these 
Sierran rocks." 33 He had arranged that they should 
camp together at Mariposa Grove so Emerson would 

see the sequoias, but before they reached there it was 
explained that Emerson was concerned over the night 
air and its dangers. He persisted despite Muir's pleas. 
Muir comments: "Sad commentary on culture and 
the glorious transcendentalism." 34 

John Muir (1838- 191 4) himself had quite limited 
connections with Tamalpais, though of course, 
thanks to William Kent's intercession with President 
Roosevelt, the National Monument is named for 
him. In the 1870s, when Muir first came to San 
Francisco, he was introduced to Ina Coolbrith, 
Edward Rowland Sill and Charles Warren Stoddard, 

Mt. Tamalpais 

all enthusiasts for the mountain. Linnie Marsh Wolfe, 
his biographer, in reporting this connection, calls 
these three "the highest names in California's Golden 
Age of Poetry. Stoddard at once dubbed Muir 'the 
Faun,' and ever afterward called him that." 35 Wolfe 
reports that Muir, who was working on a manuscript 
at the time, found desk work too confining: 

His only recreation was an occasional stroll among the 
sand dunes where the Golden Gate Park was being erected. 
One day, observing a slender youth named Enos Mills, 
bending over a fragrant groundcrecping plant, he fell into 
conversation with him. From that talk and later ones at the 
ranch (in Martinez) and on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, 
Enos Mills, one of the greatest of Muir's disciples, received 
his driving urge to write and work for the preservation of 
wild nature in the national parks. 36 

In addition to Wolfe's account we have Muir's own 
fascinating report of his "excursions" to Mount 

After I had lived many years in the mountains, I spent 
my first winter in San Francisco [probably c. 1 888, 
immediately following climbs of Mt. Shasta and Mt. 
Rainier with his friend the painter, William Keith], writing 
up notes. I used to run out on short excursions to Mount 
Tamalpais, and I always brought back a lot of flowers — as 
many as I could carry — and it was most touching to sec the 
quick natural enthusiasm in the hearts of the ragged, 
neglected, defrauded, dirty little wretches of the Tar Flat 
water-front of the city I used to pass through on my way 
home . . . "Please, mister, give me a flower ..." And 
when I stopped and distributed the treasures, giving each a 
lily or daisy or calochortus, anemone, gilia, flowering 
dogwood, spray of ceanothus, manzanita, or a branch of 
redwood, the dirty faces glowed with enthusiasm ... It 
was a hopeful sign, and made me say: "No matter into 
what depths of degradation humanity may sink, I will 
never despair while the lowest love the pure and the 
beautiful and know it when they see it." 37 

According to the Monument's records, Muir 
visited Muir Woods in 1909 or 19 10, shortly after the 
Monument was created and only a few years before 
his death (1914). He is said to have visited both Muir 

Inn and what is commonly referred to as the Ben 
Johnson cabin. Muir Inn was built in 1908- 1909 at the 
terminus of the new Muir Woods branch of the Mt. 
Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway, not far from 
the present Camp Alice Eastwood. The Ben Johnson 
cabin is often erroneously called the Muir cabin, 
though it is possible that Muir may have slept there. 
It got its name from the man who lived in it while 
serving as caretaker for the grove on behalf of 
William Kent who owned the property. It has been 
claimed that of the "famous writers — Joaquin Miller, 
Mark Twain, Jack London and Robert Louis 
Stevenson among them," several had stayed at "the 
old Ben Johnson log cabin in the very heart of the 
redwoods." 38 Stevenson certainly did not, and there 
is no record that any of the others did so. 

Whether Muir did or not he wrote a tribute to the 
mountain in a letter dated September 23, 1909: "The 
whole Tamalpais region is delightful and many times 
more interesting and instructive than is generally 
known by those living within an hour or two 
ofit." 39 

The San Francisco novelist, Gertrude Atherton 
(1857-1948), is the only author who is known to have 
done some of her writing on Mt. Tamalpais. The 
following is from her own account of writing a 
portion of Tower of Ivory while staying at the Tavern 
at the East Peak terminus of the Mt. Tamalpais and 
Muir Woods Railway, probably in 1908: 
Few had ever spent more than a night there, and as I 
announced my intention of remaining throughout the 
winter they gave me the one room with a private bath and 
a stove, as there was no central heating. 

The winter storms set in immediately. It stormed for 
fifty days and fifty nights. I wrote to the accompaniment 
of a tremendous orchestration of the elements. . . . 

But winter turned abruptly into summer .... It was so 
hot that the rattlesnakes woke up from their winter sleep 
among the rocks and came out into the sun. One even 
invaded the bar. And people came up every afternoon 
on the little mountain train to witness the sunrise next 

Throngs of people on the Mt. Tamalpais gravity cars. 


California History 

morning. I was awakened by "Oh's" and "Ah's" as they 
hung out of their windows at four a.m. watching a 
blood-red sun rise above an imponderable sea of white fog 
that blotted out the valleys, the Bay, and even San 
Francisco on its hills. 40 

Kathleen Norris (nee Thompson) (i 880-1966), one 
of the most prolific and financially successful of 
novelists, was intimately connected with Mill Valley 
and Mt. Tamalpais. She is remembered by many 
old-time Mill Valley residents and a number of her 
family, the Thompsons and their children, still live 
there. There is a small park in Mill Valley which 
is named for her, on the corner of Molina and 

In her autobiographical Family Gathering, Mrs. 
Norris writes of her childhood: 

It was a great adventure, in 1891, for my mother and 
father to move us all (from San Francisco) to Mill Valley, 
once the great Throckmorton ranch, recently plotted into 
building lots scattered on the steep slopes of Tamalpais 
mountain and on the mountain chain stretching to the east 
and west to enclose the valley. 41 

Her father's (James A. Thompson) two-acre lot, 
containing a score of magnificent oaks and 
redwoods, cost $325. The family acquired a cow, an 
old horse named Hatrack, and a surrey to go with it. 
Mill Valley's population, she says, was something 
like a hundred in the summer and half that in 
winter. 42 But in the expectation that more people like 
the Norrises would move to Mill Valley, the San 
Francisco, Tamalpais and Bolinas Railway had just 
opened (in 1890) a branch line from Sausalito to Mill 
Valley. 43 

The whole area, Mrs. Norris writes, "was all ours, 
we ranged free, riding on the milk wagons that came 
down from the Portugese ranch on the ridge . . .", 
no doubt the ridge west of Mill Valley, where the 
Dipsea Trail crosses. 44 Late in life she recalled these 
experiences: "Here for exquisite years, we ran wild." 

Mill Valley she described as "a two-pronged canyon 
running up against the flanks of Mount Tamalpais, 
heavily and beautifully wooded; one of the exquisite 
places in the world. In Sicily, in all the beauty spots 
of the Riviera, I have seen nothing more naturally 
lovely." 45 

Her father, Mrs. Norris writes, was always "ready 
with Sunday plans for long walks" — of 10, 12 or 
even 14 miles — sometimes involving "picnics in 
Muir Woods over the hill some four miles away." 46 
Her father was an active member of the Bohemian 
Club, where he knew Daniel O'Connell, among 

The family moved back to San Francisco a few 
years later, buying a house on Hyde Street, between 
Union and Filbert, not far, she notes, from the house 
Stevenson's widow was building on the corner of 
Hyde and Lombard. From their rear windows they 
could see "the glorious, ever changing waters of the 
Bay, with Tamalpais rearing her familiar outline on 
the north . . ," 47 Very much later, as a widow in her 
eighties she moved again to San Francisco, living on 
the slope of Twin Peaks. She wrote: "From my 
southeast [she must mean northeast] windows I can 
see the Bay, and the arch of Golden Gate Bridge, and 
the dear familiar silhouette of Tamalpais mountain 
for a background against a dove-gray sky." 48 

No account of literary associations with Mt. 
Tamalpais would be complete without reference to 
the plays and pageants which have been an almost 
annual feature of the mountain since the first 
performance in 191 3. Sponsored by the Mountain 
Play Association, the performances take place in May 
at a natural amphitheater some 2,000 feet up on the 
south slope of the mountain. Before the era of the 
motor car, spectators often numbering in the 
thousands, made the climb from Mill Valley by foot 
or rode the Mountain railroad to West Point and 
walked the final mile to the Mountain Theatre. 


The Tavern run by the Mountain Railway at the summit of Mt. Tamalpais. 

Nowadays, on the day of the play, one has to 
contend with a traffic jam and parking problems. 

Most popular of all the shows put on over the years 
has been Tamalpa, written by Dan Totheroh for its 
first production in 1921. As Totheroh explained, the 
play is based on the popular myth of the Indian 
maiden: "It is the story of the purple maiden asleep 
forever on the slopes of the Mountain, her full length 

figure outlined against the sky." 49 Other plays 
ranged from Arthur W. Ryder's translation of 
"Shakuntola" to Joaquin Miller's "Talley Ho" and 
Lord Dunsany's "The Gods of the Mountain." 50 

The productions have provided a training ground 
for many aspiring young actors, some of whom have 
later become well-known. Jules Irving, for example. 
and his wife, Priscilla Pointer, played in Percy 


California History 

MacKaye's pageant-play "A Thousand Years Ago," 
in 195 1. And Guy Kibbee, who became famous as a 
Hollywood screen actor, made his first hit in the title 
part of "Drake," written for the Mountain Theatre 
by Garnett Holme in 1925. 51 

During the late 1930s, the Civilian Conservation 
Corps, one of the most successful of the New Deal's 
work programs, undertook a massive job to make 
the theatre "into a structure more comfortable for 
human use." Following a design by Emerson 
Knight, a Fellow of the American Society of 
Architects, the Corps installed forty rows of native 
stone seat-tiers, making a seating capacity of 5,000. 
The stage was leveled off and the whole area 
beautifully landscaped. The site, originally owned by 
William Kent, became a part of the newly created 
Mt. Tamalpais State Park in 1936. 52 

Recently, in 1974, the New York-based City 
Center Joffrey Ballet presented "Sacred Grove on 
Mountain Tamalpais," staged not on the mountain, 
but at the San Francisco Opera House under the 
auspices of the San Francisco Symphony Association. 
But the mountain played a part in the inspiration. 
A few years before the production, in 1971, chief 
choreographer Gerald Arpino and his associate James 
Howell drove up Mt. Tamalpais and climbed to the 
top. Arpino is quoted as reporting: "I went to the 
farthest edge of a great rock and stayed there until the 
sun set, and the vision became lost in the swirling 
fog. It was the quietest time I have ever known; a 
very beautiful experience." This experience was, in 
part, the origin of the ballet. 53 

Pablo Casals (1 876-1973) had a quite different 
experience when he was climbing down the 
mountain in 1901. Casals, famous artist though he is, 
does not qualify as a literary figure, but the story is 
sufficiently interesting to justify its inclusion. Along 
with him on what he recalls as "that memorable 
outing" were Leon Moreau whom he refers to as "a 

bit of a daredevil, always ready for some new 
adventure," and Theresa Hermann, who "played the 
piano and her sister was a violinist." They had 
climbed to the top and were coming down what was 
probably the Throckmorton Trail, then as now, 
steep and hazardous. This is the account as reported 
to his biographer, Albert E. Kahn: 

In San Francisco I had an experience which not only 
brought my first American tour to a sudden end but 
almost ended my career as a cellist. I was enchanted by the 
city and by the surrounding countryside. And when 
several young, newly made friends invited me to join 
them on an expedition across the Bay to climb Mount 
Tamalpais, I was delighted. I have always loved mountain 
climbing. We crossed on a ferryboat which was, I think, 
the most ornate vessel I'd ever seen — a veritable floating 

It was when we were making our descent on Mount 
Tamalpais that the accident occurred. Suddenly one of my 
companions shouted, "Watch out, Pablo!" I looked up and 
saw a boulder hurtling down the mountainside directly 
toward me. I jerked my head aside and was lucky not to 
be killed. As it was, the boulder hit and smashed my left 
hand — my fingering hand. My friends were aghast. But 
when I looked at my mangled bloody fingers, I had a 
strangely different reaction. My first thought was, "Thank 
God, I'll never have to play the cello again!" No doubt, a 
psychoanalyst would give some profound explanation. 
But the fact is that dedication to one's art does involve a 
sort of enslavement, and then too, of course, I have always 
felt such dreadful anxiety before performances. 

I remained in San Francisco while Emma Nevada and 
Moreau continued the tour. The doctors predicted I'd 
never regain the full use of my hand. But doctors 
sometimes make mistakes. With constant treatments and 
exercise, my hand healed completely, after four months, 
and I started practicing again. I fell in love with San 
Francisco — who does not?. . . . 54 

When Casals returned to San Francisco nearly sixty 
years later, in i960, he recalled: 

Thirty-five years had then elapsed since my last visit to 
California and sixty years since my first. When Martita and 
I arrived in Berkeley my mind was full of memories. One 


Mt. Tamalpais 

of the most vivid was the day on Mount Tamalpais which 
had almost ended my musical career at the age of 
twenty-four. 55 

The writers' enjoyment of Mount Tamalpais adds 
a new dimension to one's own. When looking across 
the bay at the "Sleeping Maiden," it is easy to recall 
Stevenson's admiration or Kathleen Norris's "dear 
familiar silhouette of Tamalpais mountain." 56 When 
standing in the bright sunshine high above the fog, 
with Diablo and Montara poking up into the 
sunlight, one can remember Brewer's excitement 
over the same view. And when overwhelmed by the 
Muir Wood redwoods, Masefield's living columns 
come to mind. All lovers of Mt. Tamalpais owe this 
debt to the literary past. 

Beyond this, the mountain itself owes a debt to the 
writers. The greater awareness of its charm and allure 
which their works have fostered has helped to 
stimulate the protective care lavished by hikers and 
other conservationists without which Mt. Tamalpais 
would now be another real estate development. 

Benjamin Parke Avery, writing in 1878 ecstatically 
about the scenic charms of Mt. Tamalpais, concluded 
his essay: 

But the sunset aspects of Tamalpais, from the town 
[San Francisco], are its peculiar glory. These are so rich and 
yet so tender, like the verse of Tennyson, that they defy 
description. . . . No wonder that it is the love of local poets 
and painters and that enthusiasts like Stoddard and Keith 
have made it a very mount of inspiration. 57 

Easter sunrise service on Mt. Tamalpais, 

1925. The mountain's beauty moved one 

writer to term it "a very mount of 



California History 

The photograph of Robert Louis Stevenson is courtesy of the 
National Maritime Museum, San Francisco. Those on pages 88 
and 91 were provided by the Muir Wood National Monument. 
Ina Coolbrith's portrait is from the Bancroft Library. All others 
are from the CHS Library. 


1. William H. Brewer, Up and Down California in 1860-1864 
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949), p. 256. Al- 
bert S. Evans, A La California, Sketches of Life in the Golden 
State (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co., 1874), p. 144. 
John Masefield, From a letter quoted without attribution in 
an article by Aubrey Drury in Edgar M. Kahn, Tamalpais— 
Enchanted Mountain (San Francisco: Roxburghe Club, 1946). 
Masefield's visit to Muir Woods is noted in the Monument's 

2. These may seem extravagant statements, but there is no 
doubt regarding the throngs that went by ferry from San 
Francisco to Sausalito, by train to Mill Valley and so up the 
mountain — in the 1920s and 1930s especially. And today 
Muir Woods National Monument and Mt. Tamalpais State 
Park each report more than a million visitors per year. 

3. James Hart, ed. From Scotland to Silverado (Cambridge: Har- 
vard University Press, 1966), p. 146. 

4. Ibid., p. 193. 

5. Ibid., p. 180. 

6. Ibid., p. 180. 

7. Stevenson clearly means "dotted with islands." 

8. Hart, From Scotland to Silverado, p. 187. 

9. Neil] C. Wilson, Here is the Golden Gate (New York: William 
Morrow and Co., 1962), p. 213. 

10. Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrecker, The Biographical Edi- 
tion of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson (New York: 
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914), p. 157. 

11. Harold French, California Out-of- Doors, Periodical publica- 
tion of the Tamalpais Conservation Club, San Francisco, 
November 1923. The reference to the "Sleeping Lady" is to 
the legend of the Sleeping Indian Maiden. Looking at the 
Tamalpais range from the south, some see a resemblance to a 
recumbent human form. 

The lone dogwood tree, celebrated by Alice Eastwood, the 
famous botanist, is long since gone, though its location is 
known. A later poet, Grace S. Douglas, in her poem, Dog- 
wood in Laurel Dell, asks "Who Brought it Here?" and 

"I like to think that it was rooted here 
"By him, the poet, who remained a space 



"To cleanse his heart in silence of the trees 
"And smooth care-furrows from his lifted face." 
California Out-of- Doors, April 1950. 

12. Edward Rowland Sill, The Hermitage and Other Poems (San 
Francisco: H. H. Bancroft & Co., 1868), The quoted lines are 
from pp. 12, 17 & 41. 

13. Franklin Walker, San Francisco's Literary Frontier, (New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1939), Walker says: "San Francisco boasted 
that in the mid-fifties it published more newspapers than 
London, that in its first decade it published more books than 
all the rest of the United States west of the Mississippi." 

p. 14. 

Charles Warren Stoddard, Poems, (San Francisco: A Roman, 
1897). Keith made a woodcut for each of the poems. 
Originally published in The Calfornian, reproduced in full in: 
Edgar M. Kahn, Tamalpais-Enchanted Mountain, (San Fran- 
cisco: Roxburghe Club, 1946), p. 11. 

16. Charles Warren Stoddard, In the Footprints of the Padres, New 
and enlarged edition, (San Francisco: A.M. Robertson, 
191 2), pp. 206-7. 

17. Joseph DeWitt Rhodehamcl and Raymund Francis Wood, 
Ina Coolbrith, Librarian and Laureate of California (Provo, 
Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1973), pp. 310-12. 

18. Overland Monthly, 1907, p. 339. 

19. Daniel O'Connell, Lyrics, (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & 
Co., 1 881). Coolbrith edited his Songs from Bohemia (San 
Francisco: G. M. Robertson, 1900). 

20. Samuel Dickson, Tales of San Francisco (Palo Alto.: Stanford 
University Press, 1957), p. 168. 

21 . Ibid., p. 191. 

22. Ina Coolbrith, Songs from the Golden Gate (Boston and New 
York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1895), p. 1. 

23. Rhodehamcl, Ina Coolbrith, pp. 228 and 232. The train 
referred to was the famous scenic railroad that ran up the 
mountain from Mill Valley to the East Peak, 1896 to 1930. 

24. Amelia Ransome Neville, The Fantastic City, (Boston and 
New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1932), p. 106. See also 
Walker, Literary Frontier, p. 278. Accounts of this episode 
differ in detail but there seems to be no doubt that it occurred 
and the evidence supports the version given here, since we 
know the date of Coolbrith's poem. Dickson, however, 
Tales of San Francisco, describes it as taking place much later 
when Coolbrith was "growing old" and Miller was "old and 
white-haired." And he says Coolbrith went alone to collect 
the laurel. Dickson also claims that as a result of the publicity, 
Byron's remains were removed to Westminster Abbey 
where they were buried "with pomp and ceremony." 
Dickson, p. 171 . Still another account appears in "Memoirs" 
in Coolbrith's Wings of Sunset , published in 1929, a year after 
her death. O. W. Frost, Miller's biographer, tells the story 
this way: "At the church of Hucknoll Torkard, Miller made a 
bargain with the sexton who was to see that the wreath was 
kept on Byron's tomb and for his pains was to receive a 


Mt. Tamalpais 

sovereign each year." But the vicar objected and an appeal 
was made to the Bishop of Norwich, who promptly "sent to 
the King of Greece for another laurel wreath and so the two 
hung side by side above the bust of Byron . . . ." Between 
the King and the Bishop of Norwich the money poured in 
and "the church was rebuilt." Frost, in Joaquin Miller, 
Twayne Publishers Inc., 1967, pp. 62 and 63, is quoting from 
"California's Fair Poet," The San Francisco Call, August 21, 
1892, p. 14. 

25. Carey McWilliams, Ambrose Bierce; a Biography (Hamden, 
Conn.: Archon, Reprint 1967), p. 91. 

26. Ibid., pp. 121-22. 

27. In Motorland, the publication of the California Automobile 
Association. The poem itself will be found in Urmy's A 
Vintage of Verse , William Doxey, (San Francisco, 1897), 

P- 35- 

28. Helen Bingham, In Tamalpais Land, (San Francisco: Calkins, 
1906), pp. 10 and 1 1 . 

29. Among others, George Sterling, "Beneath the Redwoods," 
House of Orchids, (San Francisco, A. M. Robertson, 191 1), 
p. 59; Ruth Price, "To Tamalpais," Overland Monthly, 
August 1907, p. 133; unsigned, "Tamalpais," Ibid, 191 1, vol. 
58, p. 260; William Nauns Ricks, "Tamalpais," Ibid., Sept. 

1915, p. 197; Kate L. Whitten, "Tamalpais," Ibid., Sept., 

1916, p. 256; Cristel Hastings, "Tamalpais," 1922, source not 
known. The Hastings poem is headed with a woodcut of the 
mountain. Besides these, the publications of the Tamalpais 
Conservation Club and of the California Alpine Club contain 
many more. 

30. The plaque is on what is now the back side of a tree. It 
cannot be seen from the walkway. 

3 1 . The occasion is described in the Historical Chronology of 
Muir Woods and Vicinity, compiled by Wes Hildreth, 1966. 
The Chronology is in the files at Muir Woods National 

32. California Historical Society Quarterly . Marchi94i,p. 1. While 
Emerson was in the area he visited Yosemite, a visit recorded 
by John Muir, and also Lake Tahoe. 

33. William Frederick Bade, The Life and Letters of John Muir, 
Vol. I, p. 253. 

34. Ibid., p. 256. 

35. Lmnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness, The Life of John 
Muir, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), p. 164. 

36. Ibid., p. 244. James Mitchell Clarke in his later biography, 
77te Life and Adventures of John Muir, The Word Shop Publi- 
cations, San Diego, 1979, p. 171, speaks of Muir's "days of 
escape" when he visited the "forests of Coast Redwoods 
across the Golden Gate." For information on Enos Mills, see 
Hildegarde Hawthorne and Esther Burnell Mills, Enos Mills 
of the Rockies, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1935). 

37- Edwin Way Teale, The Wilderness World of John Muir, (Bos- 
ton: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1954), pp. 311-12. 
38. Aubrey Drury, California, An Intimate Guide, (New York & 





London, Harper and Bros., Revised edition, 1917), p. 314. 
The cabin was located in the redwoods near the junction of 
the Ben Johnson and Bootjack trails. Though it is no longer 
standing, photographs of it are available. 
Quoted by Harold French, California Out-of Doors, T.C.C., 
September, 1936, but French gives no source. 
Gertrude Atherton, Adventures of a Novelist. (New York: 
Liveright, Inc., 1932) pp. 44-46. Mrs. Atherton gives no 
date for this episode but internal evidence indicates 1908 as 
the likely year. 

Norris, Family Gathering, (Garden City, New York: 
Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1959), p. 9. 
Ibid., p. 28. 

Fred A. Stindt, The Northwestern Pacific Railroad (Redwood 
City: Published by Fred A. Stindt, 3rd edition, 1978), p. 28. 
Norris, Family Gathering, p. 28. 

Kathleen Norris, Noon, An Autobiographical Sketch, (New 
York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1925), p. 8. 
Norris, Family Gathering, p. 10 and Noon, p. 12. 
Norris, Family Gathering, p. 41. 
Ibid., p. 324. 

Quoted by Mrs. D. E. F. Easton in an article "The Mountain 
Play" in Trails, 1921 , p. 5. Trails is the official publication of 
the California Alpine Club. 

Henry H. Hart, "The Mountain Theatre" in Kahn, Enchanted 
Mountain, p. 55. This article reviews the history of the theatre 
up to World War II when plays were temporarily discon- 
tinued because the military took over the top of the moun- 

Ibid., and also the brochure put out by the Mountain Play 
Association, The Mountain Play, describing the year 195 1. 
The brochure reviews all the productions from 191 3 to 1970 
when it was published. 

For an account of the Theatre's reconstruction, see Lmerson 
Knight, "Mountain Theatre on Mount Tamalpais," Land- 
scape Architecture, October, 1949, pp. 5-7. 
The California premiere of the ballet took place in May, 1973 
and it was shown again the following May in the San Fran- 
cisco Opera House. Information about the ballet is from the 
1974 Program and from a brochure, "Migdoll Photographs 
thejoffrey," undated. The quotation is from the brochure. 
p. 60. 

54. Albert E. Kahn, Joys and Sorrows; Reflections by Pablo Casals as 
Told to Albert L. Kahn (New York: Simon and Schuster, 
1970), p. 105. 

55. Ibid., p. 280. 

56. Kathleen Norris, Family Gathering, p. 324. 

57. Benjamin Parke Avery, California Pictures m Prose and Verse 
(New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1878). The omission 111 
this quotation is the curious sentence: "A very dying dolphin 
of mountains is Tamalpais .'" 




Following opposition from environmentalists to Walt Disney Productions' planned resort at 
Mineral King, this site, at Independence Lake, was suggested as an alternative by the U.S. 
Forest Service. 


Douglas H. Strong 

When Walt Disney Productions encountered stiff 
opposition from environmentalists to its proposal for 
a year-round resort at Mineral King in the southern 
Sierra Nevada, the corporation began searching 
for a new site. 1 By 1972 Disney had found what it 
wanted: a beautiful mountain lake north of the Lake 
Tahoe Basin where privately owned land could be 
developed without affecting any wilderness areas. 
The site was Independence Lake. 2 Then, in 1978, 
after reportedly spending over $2 million on inten- 
sive planning, the Disney corporation suddenly 
withdrew its application for governmental permis- 
sion to construct the resort. A study of the events 
leading to Disney's precipitate action as well as the 
responses to it constitutes a case study of the en- 
vironmental review process in California. 

The purpose of the process is to assure that 
decisions on projects with significant environmental 
impact are made only after public officials and the 
general public are adequately informed. As part of 
this process, the public and various agencies provide 
information and criticism to those agencies with 
authority to grant approval for development 
projects. This procedure has been formalized in the 
environmental impact report (EIR) wherein a draft 
report is written and circulated for public comment 
and then a final report is completed before public 
officials reach a decision. The intent of the EIR 
process is: "to enable public agencies to evaluate a 
project to determine whether it may have a 
significant effect on the environment, to examine and 
initiate methods of reducing adverse impacts, and to 
consider alternatives to the project as proposed." 3 
The final EIR does not force or determine the 
ultimate approval or disapproval of the proposed 
project; rather, by the accumulation of the best 
knowledge on the subject, the report is intended to 

Lake Project 


Douglas H 

Strong is Professor of History at San Diego State 


California History 

assure an informed decision. 

The requirement for an EIR was established under 
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) 
of 1970, modeled largely after the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. 
Paralleling the environmental impact statement (EIS) 
for major federal action significantly affecting the 
quality of the environment, CEQA requires an EIR 
for similar state action. Under the Mammoth decision 
of the California Supreme Court, the requirement for 
an EIR was extended to private developments that 
required a government permit. In decisions which 
involve both federal and state agencies, such as 
Disney's proposed resort at Independence Lake, the 
environmental review process requires both an EIR 
and EIS. 

In the late 1960s the United States Forest Service 
cited the area around Mount Lola, a 9143-foot peak at 
the head of Independence Lake, as one of the princi- 
pal sites in California for possible winter recreational 
development on national forest land. When Disney 
and Forest Service officials met in San Francisco on 
December 31, 1971, to discuss problems at Mineral 
King, the Forest Service suggested four alternative 
sites, including the Independence Lake-Mount 
Lola area. 4 

Since Disney expected indefinite delays with its 
proposed Mineral King project, and since Regional 
Forester Doug Leisz offered help in expediting any 
necessary land exchanges, Disney responded posi- 
tively to the suggestion. 5 Following an on-site 
inspection of Independence Lake, Disney contacted 
the Southern Pacific Land Company and the Sierra 
Pacific Power Company, the vicinity's two major 
owners of private property. In March 1973, the 
Southern Pacific made the first of several land 
exchange offers to the Forest Service in order to 
consolidate landholdings. 6 This would allow 
proposed ski lifts and runs to be located on private 

property. Then in July, 1974, Disney announced to 
the Sierra County Board of Supervisors its intention 
to pursue a joint venture with the Southern Pacific 
and Sierra Pacific companies as limited partners; they 
would study the feasibility of a family-type, 
year-round "destination resort" at Independence 
Lake. 7 

Disney's proposal, however, encountered 
immediate difficulties. In April of that year, when 
Bob Hicks, Disney's official in charge of the project, 
had asked the Forest Service for a special-use permit 
that would allow the corporation to utilize federal 
land in the Mount Lola area, his request had been 
denied pending completion of a Forest Service 
land-use study of the area. 8 Despite the possibility 
that Forest Service land might not be available for use 
or exchange, WED Enterprises, a division of Walt 
Disney Productions, began planning the project. 
Hicks hoped construction could begin in 1975 or 
1976 and the resort could open to the public by 1978. 9 

Disney's proposal for a resort expanded as time 
passed, and estimated costs ultimately reached 
$100 million. 10 Plans called eventually for 14 ski 
lifts to serve 10,000 people daily, overnight 
accommodations for 2900, restaurant seats for 1600, 
nine merchandise stores, and 55,000 square feet of 
service area in the village area alone. Recreational 
facilities were to include a large theater-conference 
area, an ice rink, a spa and pool, twelve tennis courts, 
several fishing lakes, an equestrian center, year-round 
"swimming experience," snowmobiles, a car-care 
center, and boats and equipment. 11 The Disney 
corporation anticipated the use of these facilities by 
more than one million people annually, served by 
more than 1000 employees. 12 

Following an on-site inspection, Thomas L. 
Kimball, executive director of the National Wildlife 
Federation and a member of the Disney Conserva- 
tion Advisory Committee, praised the proposed 



l.tHt noTF.1.9 

Nova Open for Ouetti. 

The Table U Unsurpassed, and the Accommoda- 
tions are all that conld be deeired. 


A daily line of Stages rur.s from Trnckee to Inde- 
pendence Lake, and thence to Webber Lake. 


FurnUhed Free to Gaeste. 
xnj6 <-IO B MTII.KM. I^H*e*. 


'UK Ul'.ll OV THK HIERniB 

Tho Proprietor of tlio Independence Lake hotel 
announce* thut the liuuiu will be open for the 
reception of gueaU 

Friday, June 1st. 

AY. REACH'S si...:o* will hereafter con- 
. n'-ct Willi Buxton'* Siorrn Vnllev sUjre* at 
Indopendauce Junction. I'uriien will be takon 
to the lake nt auy timo by private conveyance, at 

moderate chnrce*, by applying to W. U.Irwio at 

theTruckee livery viable. 



A» a resort for loveni of rare ami beautiful 
sconery. excellent Finhiug and fine drives this 
Hotel exceeds all other*. 

miO A. P. KRACH. Proprietor. 

Webber Lake. 


Will be open for Gueeta 

On and After June 15th, 1883. 

To those who are diopoeed to five this unriv. 
aled Mountain Krnort a Uial. we will endeavor to 
make their visit pleasunt and enjoyable. jott 


Independence and Weber Lakes were 
advertised in 1880s editions of the 
Truckec Republican as prime resort 
areas with the "best trout fishing in the 

development. He noted that the project was well 
outside the Lake Tahoe Basin, an area already 
suffering from overdevelopment. Disney proponents 
argued that the Independence Lake resort would 
relieve the pressure for creation of new recreational 
facilities at Tahoe. Kimball concluded: "If Disney 
continues its usual fine job in preventing damage to 
wildlife values and scenic values, this proposed 
facility for outdoor education as well as recreation 
opportunities will be a tremendous asset to the 
community and the nation." 13 

Despite promises to local residents of substantial 
tax and employment benefits as part of an active 
public-relations campaign by Disney, many with- 
held judgment of the project. They wished to know 
more about what effect a major resort would have 
upon their quiet, rural way of life. An editorial in the 
Reno Nevada State Journal questioned whether the 
"plastic" fantasy world of a Disneyland or Disney 

World, however clean or orderly, was suited to a 
mountain environment. As the editorial put it: "The 
question is whether an organization with their record 
should be the one to develop a large and key segment 
of the Sierra, a development which may set the tone 
for future use of this ecologically fragile area." 14 

By summer 1975, after a year of preliminary 
environmental and land-use studies by Disney, the 
corporation announced its decision to proceed with 
the proposed project, utilizing some 10,000 acres 
of land privately owned by its limited partners. 
E. Cardon Walker, president of Walt Disney 
Productions, said that data were being gathered for 
the environmental impact report, which would have 
to be prepared and completed by county, state, and 
federal officials and accepted by them before 
construction could begin. Walker stated, "We hope 
this EIR will be ready by the end of 1975." He 
expected that the resort could open in the winter of 


California History 

The Forest Service's land-use plan 
received widespread response, including 
600 letters and several petitions. 

1978 if no obstacles or delays were encountered. 15 

A Disney task force of more than twenty-five 
people and firms carried out extensive studies, both 
to determine the feasibility of the project and to 
establish a sound base for subsequent master 
planning. The task force maintained contact and 
exchanged data with the Forest Service, which was 
continuing its own study of the land-use capability of 
the entire Little Truckee River Basin, in which 
Independence Lake is situated. 16 

In November 1975, however, Hicks announced 
to the Sierra County Planning Commission that 
Disney was suspending its planning efforts until the 
Forest Service finalized its land-use plan and com- 
pleted a land exchange with the Southern Pacific 
Land Company. As Hicks explained: "Since the 
inception of planning in 1974, we have felt that in 
order to develop the best possible project, we would 
need to use for access and recreational purposes 
Forest Service lands adjacent to the private lands of 
our partners." 17 

In the same month, the Forest Service informed 
Disney that the service's land use plan probably 
would be completed by the end of May, 1976. If the 
Forest Service decided to proceed with a land ex- 
change, an environmental impact statement on the 
exchange then would be prepared and finalized early 
in 1977. The agency warned, however, that the prob- 
able date of an actual land exchange could not be 

expected before late 1978 or early 1979. 18 

This news disturbed Disney officials who had tried 
to expedite consideration and approval of its project. 
To the corporation it seemed as if the Forest Service 
had changed the rules and now insisted on new 
time-consuming studies. Disney wanted a definite 
timetable so it could proceed with its plans in an 
orderly fashion. Ronald Cayo, Disney vice-president 
for business affairs, recommended that the Forest 
Service work concurrently rather than consecutively 
on its land use study and the environmental statement 
on the land exchange. 19 The Forest Service, how- 
ever, made clear its unwillingness to proceed until 
completion of its land use study. As Forest Service 
Chief John McGuire informed Disney President 
Walker, "A determination must be made that the 
proposal [for a land exchange] is in the public interest 
and meets the requirements of the exchange 
authority." 20 

The Forest Service had long believed the Mount 
Lola area to have a winter sports potential equal 
to that of Squaw Valley, Heavenly Valley, or Mam- 
moth Mountain. However, the service had deferred 
action on requests by private companies to develop 
the area pending completion of its study. On May 28, 
1976 when the Forest Service issued its environmen- 
tal statement on its proposed Truckee-Little Truckee 
rivers land-use plan, it announced its goal of manag- 
ing the national forest land near Mount Lola for 
"year-long recreation uses including winter sports." 
At the same time, however, the service called 
Disney's proposed development the "single most 
controversial issue within the planning unit." 21 

Under Forest Service policy, government land 
ordinarily was retained in public ownership when a 
specific public need existed, such as the need for a 
recreation area. 22 The Forest Service, furthermore, 
informed Disney and its partners that for Forest 
Service plans which included winter-sports 


Independence Lake 

development, NEPA regulations required an en- 
vironmental impact statement of specific projects 
proposed. As the service explained: "In analyzing the 
planning unit, the information about the Mt. Lola 
area was gathered only for the purpose of considering 
which lands to use for a particular activity and not for 
evaluating specific proposals." 23 

More information was needed on the secondary 
social, economic, and environmental effects of the 
resort before the Forest Service could reach a decision 
on it. Studying only the site of the proposed resort 
was insufficient; the impact on the surrounding 
region had to be considered. For example, the Forest 
Service wondered what additional traffic would be 
generated on Interstate 80 in the vicinity of Truckce, 
a stretch of highway already expected to be over- 
crowded by 1990 even without the Disney project. 
Additional potential problems included air and 
water quality, water rights, and public services. 
The impact on wildlife, including a pure strain of 
Lahontan cutthroat trout listed as an endangered 
species, had to be considered. The project Disney had 
proposed required development of an environmental 
impact statement and, subsequently, of mitigation 
measures should environmental problems have come 
to light. Since the project would be denied if such 
problems were so severe that mitigation measures 
proved unacceptable, the Forest Service could make 
no commitment to Disney before the EIS process 
was complete. 24 

The Forest Service's land-use plan received 
widespread response, including 600 letters and 
several petitions. Although the service's plan itself 
gained widespread praise, many more respondents 
opposed the Disney project than favored it. Cal- 
ifornia Resources Secretary Claire T. Dedrick 
reflected the view of many people when she an- 
nounced that the state would reserve judgment on 
the Disney project until completion by the Forest 

More information was needed on the 
secondary social, economic, and 
environmental effects of the resort . . 

Service of an environmental impact statement de- 
voted specifically to the Mount Lola-Independence 
Lake area. 25 

The immediate concern of Disney and its partners 
continued to be the proposed land exchange with the 
Forest Service. In the Fall 1976, the Southern Pacific 
Land Company requested an exchange of 2460 
acres — the land necessary for all important facilities 
to be constructed on private property. 26 In return the 
Southern Pacific Land Company offered 12,41 5 acres 
of land in the nearby Castle Peaks area, including 
portions of the Pacific Crest Trail. 

In a September news release issued by Disney, 
the corporation reaffirmed its commitment to the 
Independence Lake project, but company officials 
expressed concern and dismay over the Forest 
Service's delay in reviewing the proposed project and 
completing a land exchange. 27 The extended time 
required for completion of the service's study 
precluded Disney's hope of beginning construction 
by the summer of 1977. Hicks claimed that each year 
of delay cost the region around Independence Lake 
hundreds of new jobs as well as a million dollars in 
tax revenue. 

On November 1 1, 1976, Regional Forester Leisz 
sent a letter of guarded encouragement to Walt 
Disney Productions. 28 After stating that the Forest 
Service was "impressed" with Disney's planning 
effort and the opportunity it created for year-round 


An early view of the Independence Lake 

Hotel shows guests and a number of 

fishing boats tied to the shore. 

recreation at Independence Lake, Leisz said that a 
final decision on the land exchange would depend on 
the results of the service's EIS, to be completed 
within the next year unless unexpected delays were 
encountered. If, after response from the public and 
from county, state, and federal agencies, the project 
was determined to be in the public interest and to 
have met all the requirements of policy and law, then 
the Forest Service would be willing to process the 
exchange substantially as proposed. 29 Neither the 
state nor Sierra County could or would act to con- 
sider Disney's resort plan, however, until the 
Disney corporation made formal application to them 
for approval. As long as Disney insisted upon ap- 
proval of the land exchange as a prior condition to 
formal application, Disney and the Forest Service 
were at a stalemate. 30 

Under these circumstances, Disney backed away 
from its demand. Instead it completed what Disney 
President Card Walker referred to as a preliminary 
master plan and environmental impact statement, 
which it submitted to the Forest Service, Sierra 
County, and the state agencies. 31 Disney's study was 
prepared by Dames and Moore of Los Angeles and 
entitled "Independence Lake Project, Environmental 
Assessment Report"; the corporation issued it late 
in 1976. 

In December Hicks filed applications for the 
Independence Lake project with the Sierra County 
Planning Commission. 32 Due to the omission of one 
document, however, and a pending change in CEQA 
guidelines on January 1, 1977, to limit preparation of 
an EIR to one year, Disney withdrew its applications 
until a later date. 

The corporation, which placed particular blame 
on the Forest Service, criticized the entire review 
process. As Hicks summarized, "The problem 
overall seems to be that no one in the agencies knows 
what they are doing, what the many laws and 

regulations really say, [and] what they don't say." 33 
He recommended that Disney not proceed unless 
Sierra County could take the lead and provide 
assurance that existing problems had been resolved. 

In the early months of 1977, numerous meetings 
took place between the major participants in the 
review process — Disney and its partners, the Forest 
Service, Sierra County, and state agencies. In 
February, California Resources Secretary Dedrick 
announced formation of a "Mt. Lola Task Force." 
She instructed the various state agencies in the task 
force to participate in "substantial joint planning 
and program decisions'''' with the applicant and with 
federal, state, and local agencies. 34 

Despite this positive step, uncertainties about the 
review process remained. When Wing Chao, plan- 
ning manager for Disney, requested information on 
the latest requirements for filing an application with 
Sierra County, the county's director of planning, 
Tim Beals, explained that no definition of a 
completed application existed and that the decision 
rested at the discretion of the county. 35 In addition, 
while Disney expected the state Office of Planning 
and Research to coordinate the review process, the 
Department of Resources assumed this task. 

Nevertheless, review of Disney's project pro- 
ceeded. In March 1977, the Resources Agency 
called a meeting to coordinate procedures for 
Disney's applications for permits. Attending were 
representatives from all the state agencies that would 
issue or approve permits for the Disney project, 
Sierra County, and all those agencies that would 
review and comment on the draft and final state- 
ment of the EIR. 36 By May, and prior to formal 
application by Disney to Sierra County, each had 
criticized Disney's report, pointing out weaknesses 
and suggesting revisions and additions. 37 

Although the Forest Service commended Disney's 
study in general, the agency also said that the report 


failed to address adequately the question of alter- 
native plans. 38 James E. Smith, enforcement officer 
of the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 
in a comment to the Forest Service, called the report 
much too "self-serving," more like a prospectus than 
an analysis. He also noted the need for a section on 
how the project would induce growth in surrounding 
areas, including the Tahoe Basin. 39 

Several state agencies were quite critical. The 
Department of Fish and Game, for example, found 
the report "clearly inadequate"; it did not provide the 
detailed and comprehensive description of environ- 
mental impact required by CEQA and NEPA. The 
department argued that since Disney offered no 
significant alternatives, little room had been left for 
negotiation. Also, as the department explained, "not 
until impacts of the proposed and alternative projects 
arc identified can effective mitigation measures be 
planned." 40 

L. Frank Goodson, California Resources Agency 
project coordinator for the review of the Disney 
proposal, explained that a privately prepared 
preliminary study such as the Disney report was 

intended only to provide a cursory preview of the 
project and to allow federal, state, and local agencies 
an opportunity to comment at an early stage of the 
planning process. 41 Such comments, he added, could 
prove useful to Sierra County and the Forest Service 
in their development of the state and federal 
environmental impact statements respectively. 

Under California law, because Sierra County was 
the site of the proposed project, it would be the "lead 
agency" (the public agency with principal 
responsibility for carrying out or approving a project) 
and therefore would develop the EIR the state 
required. The guidelines for implementing CEQA 
allowed no more than one year to complete and 
certify an EIR; the year was to begin as soon 
as Sierra County accepted an application as 
complete. 42 

Sierra County's EIR was to evaluate the benefits 
and impact of development on the privately owned 
lands; the Forest Service's EIS was to evaluate 
development of national forest land. Both studies 
were required to assess various alternative levels of 
development and to promote and provide for public 



California History 

Local action increased in the fall ofig?5 
when the Sierra County Conservation 
Club appealed to the Sierra Club. . . . 

participation in the evaluation process. After comple- 
tion of the EIR and EIS, one of the alternatives in the 
studies would be selected by Sierra County and the 
Forest Service. Only then, assuming the alternative 
selected was acceptable to Disney, could 
development of a year-round resort proceed. 43 

According to the Forest Service, the length of 
time needed to complete its environmental review 
depended largely on the accuracy and completeness 
of Disney's report. After all necessary data had been 
collected and all alternatives evaluated, the prep- 
aration and distribution of the service's draft and final 
environmental statements could begin, a process that 
itself normally takes a year. Sierra County's one-year 
time limit did not apply to the Forest Service. 

During the summer of 1977, several meetings 
were held between Disney officials and repre- 
sentatives of Sierra County and the various state 
agencies that could issue and approve permits for the 
Mount Lola-Independence Lake project. On July 25, 
Disney formally asked the Sierra County Planning 
Commission for an amendment to the Sierra County 
General Plan requesting a zoning change for 1 1 20 
acres to allow intensive recreational use of land then 
classified as general forest. Disney also requested 
special use permits for improvement on private land. 
The application formally involved Sierra County in 
the project and opened the door to public partici- 
pation in the decision-making process. 44 

In the same period, Disney finally filed a special- 
use-pcrmit application with the Forest Service 
for ski lifts and trails and other improvements 
on national forest land. In early October, Sierra 
County and the Forest Service accepted Disney's 
applications as complete. The agencies then an- 
nounced their intent to distribute a joint final 
EIR/EIS for comment by October 1978. This 
decision to prepare a single environmental impact 
document marked the first time the Forest Service 
had worked with a county in California in such a 
joint venture. The action was intended to save time 
and avoid unnecessary duplication of effort. 45 
Despite the decision, Disney officials now thought it 
unlikely the resort could open before winter 1981. 

At this point, private citizens and environmental 
organizations had their first officially authorized 
opportunity to play an active part in the environ- 
mental review process. However, despite the lack of 
official sanction, environmental organizations and 
Sierra and Nevada county residents had expressed 
concern about the proposed Disney project since the 

In 1975, the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra 
Club established a task force under James M. Moose, 
Jr., to evaluate the physical, economic, and social 
impact of the proposed project. The chapter 
expressed both its hope that Disney would keep the 
club advised of developments and the chapter's 
willingness in turn to comment on plans as they 
became known. 46 The Sierra Club hoped for an 
opportunity to influence so major a development in 
the early stages of planning; Disney concurrently 
hoped to resolve any environmental problems in 
their early stages and to avoid any possible recurrence 
of its Mineral King debacle. Newspapers interpreted 
this proposal as most unusual cooperation, but the 
Sierra Club made clear its reservation of the right to 
oppose development in its entirety if, upon final 


Independence Lake 

analysis, it proved unsatisfactory. For the time being, 
the Sierra Club took "no position." 

Also in 1975, nearly 300 people filled the Tahoe- 
Truckce High School auditorium for a preview of 
plans for the proposed resort, while several young 
people picketed outside with such slogans as "Don't 
Mickey Mouse Sierra County." Local people had 
mixed response to the project — at least to the sketchy 
information then available. Some welcomed the 
projected economic benefits; others feared the impact 
of sudden growth. 47 

Local action increased in the fall of 1975 when the 
Sierra County Conservation Club appealed to the 
Sierra Club for assistance in opposing the threatened 
intrusion of the Disney corporation. Describing itself 
as "tiny, in an isolated county, dispersed over a huge 
area, and horribly disorganized," the Conserva- 
tion Club gradually gained members and local 
support. 48 Clearly the size of the proposed Disney 
resort would irrevocably alter life in Sierra County, 
a county then boasting that its fewer than 3000 
residents could not find a single stop light in the 
entire county. None was needed. 

The hope of many county residents that rapid 
population growth and its attendant problems might 
be prevented looked increasingly improbable. A 1970 
Sierra County general plan predicted slow growth 
and a maximum of 5000 county residents by the turn 
of the century, but by mid-decade California's 
Mother Lode country was experiencing a land boom 
unprecedented since the Gold Rush. 49 Numerous 
Californians — commuters to Central Valley cities, 
retirees, young families, and others — sought refuge 
from urban social problems as well as opportunities 
for low-cost housing and a better environment in 
which to live. Ironically, the transplanted residents 
often brought urban problems with them — 
escalating land prices, crowded schools, and rising 
crime rates. No wonder many Sierra and Nevada 

county residents expressed concern about the Disney 
project, a project that promised to attract more than a 
million visitors annually. 

Several California counties have populations so 
low that any of them would be altered drastically for 
better or worse, by a project the size of that proposed 
by Disney. Between 1970 and 1978, Sierra County 
was strained by a population jump of forty percent, 
and Nevada County with a jump of close to seventy 
percent. 50 The communities in these counties could 
not be expected either to fund such explosive growth 
as projected from the Disney project or to provide 
the public services that it would require, seemingly 

In nearby Placer County, about fifteen miles south 
of Independence Lake, a county planner opposed the 
Disney project because of such "spin-off problems" 
as the increased needs for transportation, education, 
public services, and utilities. 51 Many residents 
complained that Placer County would be severely 
affected by a corporation operating beyond their 
control. 52 In fact, the unincorporated town of 
Truckee, across the Sierra County border and located 
in Nevada County, with a population of 2000 and 
already undergoing rapid growth, felt Disney's 
presence. When word spread about the proposed 
Independence Lake development, land speculators 
abounded; an estimated quarter of the property in 
downtown Truckee changed hands within a year 
or two. 53 

During 1977, as the Disney corporation actively 
promoted its proposed resort, the Sierra County 
Conservation Cub took the lead in organizing local 
opposition to the "encroachment," writing letters to 
the editors of local newspapers, soliciting new 
members for the club, and organizing information to 
contest Disney's environmental statement. The 
Conservation Club, essentially without funds, 
appealed to the Sierra Club for $300 to acquire a 


California History 

typewriter, stamps, phone, and other essentials. 54 
The Sierra Club eontinued to take no official position 
on the proposal. According to Michael McCloskey, 
the club's executive director, the Mother Lode 
Chapter had monitored the project since 1975. He 
added: "Unfortunately, they [Disney] failed to 
provide the information that we needed, and I don't 
think that there is any hope anymore that they will 
take our advice about going with the project or 
not." 55 

In January 1978, a coalition of concerned citizens 
in Sierra, Nevada, and Placer counties called a 
news conference to announce formation of "Inde- 
pendence." The new environmental organization, 
coordinated by Steve Benner, Ann Clark, Tom 
Graham, and others, wished to ensure adequate 
public representation during the review process and a 
review that was conducted fully in accord with the 
provisions of CEQA. 

Already, in the summer of 1977, the Nevada City 
law firm of Berliner and Ellers had brought suit for 
three members of the Sierra County Conservation 
Club against the Disney corporation and the Sierra 
County Board of Supervisors on grounds that federal 
civil rights to due process and equal protection had 
been violated. 56 The plaintiffs complained that 
Disney and county officials had met to discuss the 
Independence Lake project without notice to the 
public. Fearing that the county supervisors would 
bend before pressure applied by corporate leaders, 
the plaintiffs wished to thwart any attempts at future 
"secret" meetings. Although a U.S. District Court 
judge ruled that no federal rights had been vio- 
lated, the suit had indicated public concern with the 
environmental review process. 57 

Disney officials remained hopeful that Indepen- 
dence Lake would become a model, year-round, 
recreation area. On October 4, 1977, when Disney 
completed its formal application and when Sierra 

County and the Forest Service agreed to develop a 
joint EIR/EIS, the corporation expected the review 
process to proceed at full speed. Yet TerraScan, an 
environmental consulting firm hired by Sierra 
County, explained that Disney's environmental 
assessment report had serious inadequacies that 
would result necessarily in further delays, as well as 
in increased costs for preparation of the final report. 58 
Also the Forest Service's need for detailed socio- 
economic, transportation, and wildlife and fisheries 
studies, to be included with the EIR/EIS draft, 
contributed to the expectation of delay. 

In January 1978, individual agencies represented on 
the state task force for the Independence Lake project 
suggested alternatives, as required by law, to the 
Disney proposal. These included no project at all, 
a project for winter use only, and a project with 
village facilities away from the proposed site at 
Independence Lake. 59 At a January 27 meeting of 
Disney, the Forest Service, and Sierra County 
representatives, Tim Beals, director of the Sierra 
County Planning Department, warned that Disney's 
application might be declared incomplete due to the 
corporation's failure to provide all the data previously 
requested. 60 Because extra time was needed to collect 
additional information and to allow public review, 
the date for completion of the final EIR/EIS was 
rescheduled for March 1979. 61 

To Disney, no delay was warranted; it argued that 
the county had accepted its application as complete 
and was bound to a fixed time schedule. The cor- 
poration hoped to begin construction in the Spring, 
1980, and even a few months delay could mean the 
loss of another building season. With inflation, each 
year's delay added significantly to the project's cost. 

In early February of 1978, Beals and Richard 
Adams, the Forest Service's liaison officer for the 
Disney project, sent invitations to representatives of 
thirteen selected citizen organizations to form a 


Independence Lake 

"working committee" that would act in an advisory 
capacity. 62 Its intended function was to comment on 
the direction of the review process, on the proposed 
alternatives, and on the mitigation measures devel- 
oped in response to any significant negative effects. 
The committee was formed shortly thereafter, 
and the whole review process seemed to be 
progressing well. 

Difficulties continued to arise, however. When 
Beals and Goodson, the state task force coordinator, 
assessed the status of the Disney project early in 
March, they noted an apparent attempt by Disney to 
circumvent or shorten the environmental review 
process. They believed that Disney was pressing the 
governor, the Office of Planning and Research, and 
the Resources Agency for preferential treatment. 
Goodson remarked: "If Disney would have listened 
to me, I could have given them their [winter only] 
project, but they have chosen to take another route, 
and I question whether or not they will even have 
their project at the end of the process." 63 

While the review proceeded methodically, Disney 
officials had been checking their own time schedules 
and costs. The corporation faced requests for addi- 
tional information, consideration of alternative plans 
it found unacceptable, and possible further delays; 
Disney re-evaluated its entire commitment to a 
year-round resort. Already, early in 1978, the 
corporation had accepted final defeat in its lengthy 
battle to establish a resort at Mineral King. As 
Congress moved swiftly to incorporate Mineral King 
in Sequoia National Park, Disney President Walker 
wrote a strongly worded letter in protest to President 
Jimmy Carter, alleging his administration had 
buckled under to a small group of preservationists. 64 

On March 8, when Disney's project manager, 
Wing Chao, appeared before the Sierra County 
Planning Commission, he startled his audience by 
announcing: "Walt Disney Productions would like to 

While the review proceeded methodically, 
Disney officials had been checking their 
own time schedules and costs. 

state for the record that until we are assured of a 
positive, responsive and responsible attitude and 
action plan by all agencies involved to meet the 
previously agreed upon conditions and timetables for 
the Independence Lake project, we are suspending all 
operations and expenditures of funds relative to this 
project." 65 

This surprise announcement of the withdrawal 
of its application apparently resulted from Disney's 
frustration with the prospect of further delays and of 
"complete uncertainty as to when, if ever, the 
process will now be completed." Construction could 
not have begun before the summer of iy8o at the 
earliest; Disney complained that state authorities and 
agencies had not kept a promise to complete the EIR 
process within one year of its initiation. 

The Los Angeles Times supported Disney's charges. 
In an editorial titled "A Mickey Mouse Permit 
Process," the Times argued that other applicants had 
been subjected to costly and complex permit 
procedures at all levels of government. 66 Even if the 
environmental impact study proved favorable to 
Disney, the Times added, the corporation still could 
not proceed until it had additional approval from nine 
state agencies. 

Disney had other criticisms as well; C )hao cited the 
"ever-increasing negative attitudes" on the part of 
many state officials. The State Department of Fish 
and Game in particular came under sharp attack for 

1 1 1 

Trees, lake and mountains provided an attractive setting for the projected year-round family 
resort proposed by the Walt Disney Outdoor Recreation Division. 


Independence Lake 


an article written by John Hummel, a wildlife 
biologist employed by the department. 67 Chao 
argued that Hummel's report contained several 
inaccuracies about the Independence Lake project and 
failed to explain that possible negative effects might 
be mitigated. The implication was that Hummel and 
other state officials were purposely distorting the 
truth in an effort to undermine Disney's proposal. 

Chao also stated that the project alternatives 
considered should be reasonably related to the project 
an applicant is prepared to undertake. A proposal that 
the Independence Lake project be moved from 
private land to Forest Service land a few miles away 
near Highway 89 and that a monorail provide a 
transportation link with the lake was totally 
unacceptable to the corporation. Disney also rejected 
the possible limitation to winter use only, arguing 
that it was economically unfeasible and it conflicted 
with Disney's plan for a year-round, family, recrea- 
tion area. 68 In summarizing its grievances, Disney 
explained: "It is the irresponsible proliferation of 
delays, the never-ending requests for more and more 
irrelevant information and studies, the bureaucratic 
sidetracking and meanderings into unreasonable 
alternatives, and the ever-increasing attendant costs 
to the applicant, as typified by the treatment of Dow 
Chemical, which we seek to avoid." 69 

The reference to Dow Chemical signaled a shift 
in strategy by Disney. Dow's withdrawal from 
a proposal for a giant petrochemical complex in 
the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta after the Bay Area 
Pollution Control District ruled against the 
construction had caused sharp criticism of Governor 
Jerry Brown's administration. Dow blamed bureau- 
cratic red tape for hurting the state's economy, and 
Disney suggested that the Independence Lake 
project was a victim of similar bureaucratic mis- 
management and delays. The strategy backfired, 
however. According to an editorial in the Sacramento 

Bee: "The high-handed attempts by Walt Disney 
Productions to put pressure on Sierra County and 
Gov. Brown to approve the $80 million, year-round 
Disney resort at Independence Lake are unwarranted, 
unreasonable and improper." 70 

Both the Forest Service and Sierra County officials 
defended their performances in the review process. 
Forest Supervisor Robert G. Lancaster explained that 
failure to comply with the requirement of NEPA 
could result in litigation — thus collection of all 
necessary data was essential even if it entailed delays. 
Furthermore, the range of alternatives was not to be 
dictated by the applicant and could include alteration 
of location, design, scale, sequence, and timing. The 
Forest Service, he announced, intended to continue 
its preparation of an EIS for winter sports and for 
other outdoor recreation use of national forest land at 
Mount Lola, even if Disney withdrew permanently. 
A prospectus for development would be issued, 
and any interested parties could submit plans for 
consideration within the framework determined 
by the review process. 71 

Frank Goodson stated that the EIR process was on 
schedule, and he complimented Sierra County for its 
role to date. At a special, March 22 meeting of the 
Sierra County Planning Commission, he assured 
Disney officials that all state agencies would be able 
to complete their review and issue necessary permits 
by July 1979. "My most important message," he 
remarked, "is let's let the process work." 72 

Tim Bcals provided a detailed chronology of Sierra 
County's involvement in the review of Disney's 
proposal. Disney had continually changed the project 
description and accompanying data between 1974 
and 1978, he said, and the corporation had not made 
formal application for approval of the project until 
July 1977. Then, the information provided by Disney 
proved to be incomplete and inadequate — thus the 
delays. 73 

1 13 

California History 

Disney could argue, however, that initial 
problems in the community had been 
unfairly attributed to Disney World. 

At the same meeting, Dick Nunis, the Disney 
corporation's vice-president for recreational 
development, called on the Forest Service and Sierra 
County to support the project if they wanted it and to 
ask for a meeting with Governor Brown. The 
response of the Sierra County Planning Commission 
chairman, Richard M. Tuthill, brought a round of 
applause from the 200 private citizens and public 
officials in the audience: "At this point I don't have all 
the information; I can't say whether I want the 
project or not." 74 The vociferous support of local 
residents undoubtedly played an important part 
in encouraging county and Forest Service officials 
to take the time needed to complete their joint 
report and to comply fully with CEQA/NEPA 

Disney officials appealed directly to Governor 
Brown, arguing that until the corporation received 
assurance of positive action, it could not proceed 
with the project. Although according to Wing Chao, 
Disney was not asking for premature approval, he 
also said that Brown's endorsement of the project 
might make other state officials more "objective and 
reasonable." 75 "This is akin," said a Sierra Club 
spokesperson, "to a defendant asking for the Judge's 
expression of confidence he is innocent before the 
trial begins." 76 In early May, Brown and seven 
high-ranking members of his staff met with Disney 
and Sierra County officials for a review and general 

discussion of the problem. Nothing new developed 
from this meeting, however, and the governor did 
not intervene in the controversy. 77 

A coalition of environmental organizations, 
including Independence, the Sierra Club, the 
Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, and the 
Planning and Conservation League accused Disney of 
attempting to get special "above-the-law" treat- 
ment comparable to that it had received in Florida. 78 
Nevada County attorney Harold A. Berliner wrote 
and published a pamphlet titled "The Real Magic in 
the Magic Kingdom: Disney World's own Local 
Government," an indictment of Disney's practices in 
the governance of Florida's Reedy Creek Improve- 
ment District, site of Disney World. 79 Berliner 
argued that Disney World was in essence a "feudal 
domain," virtually free from zoning laws, land-use 
laws, and building regulations of both the state and 
county. While conceding that Disney enhanced the 
landscape in many cases and was a "good company 
which delivers a good product," Berliner suggested 
that Disney was used to having its own way in 
Florida. California, however, operated by different 
rules. "If it has a good project," Berliner stated, 
"Disney should be able to succeed on its own merits, 
obeying the rules which govern the rest of the state 
and its citizens." 80 In brief, Disney should not try to 
abrogate or short-circuit the environmental review 
process in California. 

Berliner was not alone in questioning Disney 
World as a model of what might be expected from a 
Disney project. In 1972 the program "60 Minutes" 
had revealed the impact of Disney World on the 
community just outside its gates: the biggest traffic 
jams in the county's history, a building boom, and a 
doubled crime rate. 81 Time magazine characterized 
the development as an example of "idealized, high 
despotic city planning." 82 

Disney could argue, however, that initial problems 


Independence Lake 

in the community had been unfairly attributed to 
Disney World. It also later pointed with pride to 
receipt of the third annual Urban Land Institute's 
award of excellence for its Florida development. 83 

At approximately the same time as the appearance 
of Berliner's pamphlet, the Sierra Club's Mother 
Lode Chapter issued an analysis of the Independence 
Lake project based on Disney's revised environ- 
mental assessment report of October 1977. The 
chapter's executive committee recommended that 
the club oppose the project, citing the negative 
impact on the environment of an expected 1.35 
million annual visitor-days at the completion of the 
first phase of the development. The Sierra Club's 
analysis emphasized the social and economic con- 
sequences, especially on Nevada and Sierra counties, 
and reinforced the criticisms expressed by others. 84 

Despite these criticisms and the suspension of 
activity by Disney, Forest Service officials met with 
Disney officials, and, in July, Forest Supervisor 
Lancaster proposed that alternatives calling for 
transfer of the project away from Independence Lake 
be dropped from consideration. The Sierra County 
Board of Supervisors, however, voted unanimously 
to take no action on this suggestion until it received a 
request from Disney to reactivate work on the 
project. There matters ended, for Disney has not 
made such a request. 85 

To assess who was responsible for the mis- 
understandings and conflicts that resulted in Disney's 
withdrawal would be difficult. Disney accused Sierra 
County and state officials of obstructionism and 
arbitrary changes in requirements and time sched- 
ules. In response, state and county officials argued 
that Disney had caused the delays itself. 

As Disney's Independence Lake project underwent 
careful scrutiny, the proposed project's significant 
impact on the environment became increasingly 
apparent. Disney officials were unwilling to accept 

Perhaps the critical factor in the outcome 
was rising local opposition to the 
project, especially in Sierra County. 

the possibility that their project might be reduced 
substantially in size or scope or even disallowed 
entirely. In brief, it can be argued that Disney 
withdrew because the environmental review process 
functioned properly. 

Perhaps the critical factor in the outcome was 
rising local opposition to the project, especially in 
Sierra County. Ultimately the county, as the lead 
agency, had to decide whether the resort should be 
constructed as proposed by Disney. Local citizen 
action and the efforts of Tim Beals and elected county 
officials who withstood increasing pressure and 
criticism from powerful outside interests, allowed the 
review process to proceed on track. And in the end, 
local sentiment for maintaining the Mount Lola- 
Independence Lake region as undeveloped forest land 
prevailed over support for construction of a privately 
owned and operated resort. 

The real motives behind Disney's withdrawal may 
be written only in the corporation's private files, but 
certainly frustration and distrust of the environmental 
review process played an important role. While the 
corporation attacked what it considered ill defined 
procedures of CEQA, officials in charge of the 
review process thought Disney reluctant to cooperate 
in full disclosure of the project's environmental 
impact. Disney's strategy proved faulty; it elevated 
the controversy to statewide if not national sig- 
nificance. As a result, state public-interest groups 

1 '5 




Work Halted 
Until 76 Decision 
On Land Exchanges 

L. Gordon Cooper, 
Directs Research 


■ is 


The Independence Lake Progress (an information 
newsletter published by Walt Disney Productions) 
for December of 1975 announced the suspension of 
Disney planning efforts at Independence Lake until 
the Forest Service could finalize its Land Use Plan 
for the region. 

and local citizens rallied to defend the environmental 
review process and its requirement of full disclo- 
sure. In fact, defense of full disclosure, rather than 
the Independence Lake proposal itself, became the 
central issue. 

Disney officials never seemed to understand the 
legal requirements with which the lead agencies had 
to comply. Neither did they distinguish between the 
EIR/EIS report itself, which would have explored all 
feasible approaches to the project, and a final decision 
based on the report. According to Huey Johnson, 
California's Resources Secretary, and several other 
officials, if Disney had been patient and accepted a 
short delay, it probably would have gained most of 
what it wanted, or at least a winter resort. 

Johnson's assessment seems reasonable. After all, 
the Forest Service had allocated the Mount Lola area 

to recreational use, and Frank Goodson and other 
state officials personally favored a large "winter 
only" resort at Independence Lake. The proposed 
resort was not the sole cause of the controversy; 
Disney's attempts to speed up the established review 
process through political pressure ultimately proved 
the project's undoing. 

In Disney's defense, it is true that delays occurred 
in the review process between 1972 and 1978. CEQA 
guidelines often were unclear, and confusion arose at 
times between Sierra County and state officials over 
who should communicate what to whom. Often 
decisions reached at meetings to which Disney 
officials were not invited were slow to be commu- 
nicated to the corporation. Disney believed it offered 
a clean and attractive recreational resort and that 
the corporation would be a desirable new member 


Independence Lake 

of the community in Sierra County. It saw no ex- 
cuse for the delays and problems that arose over its 
proposed project. In addition, it saw no purpose in 
the consideration of major alternatives to its proposal 
(even though required by law), as none was 
acceptable to it. 

Despite the validity of some of Disney's 
complaints, the corporation was informed early 
of prospective problems in its environmental 
assessment and the likelihood of delays. In addition, 
the state recognized and worked to correct obvious 
shortcomings in the review process, such as inade- 
quate coordination and confusion over the number of 
permits required. Assembly bill 884, signed by 
Governor Brown on September 30, 1977, clarified 
the procedures to be used in assessing development 
projects under CEQA. Among its provisions the law 
stipulated the specific information required from an 
applicant, clarified the criteria for measuring the 
completeness of information submitted, and 
established the maximum time schedule for the lead 
agency to consider a project. While the act helped 
remove many of the uncertainties that Disney had 
encountered, the corporation believed that 
environmental review procedures needed further 

While recognizing that Disney encountered delays 
as the result of the review process at Independence 
Lake, government officials, environmental organiza- 
tions, and private citizens had every right to ask hard 
questions and insist that Disney comply with all 
requirements under CEQA and NEPA. After all, the 
purpose of the process is to assure an informed 
decision in the public interest. The days of largely 
unquestioned development that for so many years 
characterized such areas as the Lake Tahoe Basin had 
come to an end. The conflict over Independence Lake 
is one clear signal that California's environmental 
review process is coming of age. 86 

The illustrations on pages 103 and 116 are courtesy of Walt 
Disney Productions. All others were supplied by the Sierra 
Pacific Power Company. 


1. A draft of this article benefited from the criticism of Wing 
Chao, Richard Adams, Tim Beals, Harold Berliner, Frank 
Goodson, Al Gutowsky, Stephen Benner, and others. 

2. Until publicized by Disney, Independence Lake was a quiet 
backwater in the northern Sierra Nevada. Although bypassed 
by major wagon roads across the Sierra, the lake became the 
site of a small hotel; then lumber companies largely cut over 
the timber in the area. Since the late 1030s, the Sierra Pacific 
Power Company has used the lake as a storage reservoir for 
hydroelectric power development and has provided limited 
camping facilities for the public. 

3. Ruthann Corwin and others. Environmental Impact Assessment 
(San Francisco: Freeman, Cooper and Company, 1975), 

p. 221. Under the guidelines for implementing CLQA, 
issued by the Secretary for Resources, February, 1973, the 
following subjects should be discussed in an LIR report: (a) 
the environmental impact of the proposed action, (b) any 
adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the 
proposal is implemented, (c) mitigation measures proposed 
to minimize the impact, (d) alternatives to the proposed 
action, (c) the relationship between local short-term uses of 
man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of 
long-term productivity, (f) any irreversible environmental 
changes which would be involved in the proposed action 
should it be implemented, and (g) the growth-inducing 
impact of the proposed action. Thomas G. Dickert (ed.), 
Environmental Impact Assessment: Guidelines and Commentary 
(Berkeley: University Extension, University of California, 
1974), pp. 227-28. 

4. Disney's records of its Independence Lake project are scat- 
tered, difficult of access, and largely in storage. A detailed 
chronology of events from December 31, 1971 to March 14, 
197X and some accompanying documents are temporarily 
stored in the office of Wing C liao, W I I > I nterpnses. Glen- 
dale, California. Cited hereafter as WLD. 

5. Bob Hicks to Card Walker, January 2. 1972. VX I I > 

6. March 3, 1973, chronology, WED 


California History 

7. The Sierra Pacific Power Company had purchased some 2200 
acres of lakeshore property and water rights from the Hobart 
Estate, successor to the Nevada Wood and Lumber Com- 
pany. Most of the land in the vicinity of the lake was divided 
in a checkerboard fashion between the Southern Pacific Land 
Company and the U.S. Forest Service. 

S. "Mt. Lola-Independence Lake Proposal, Tahoe National 
Forest" (n.d.), a chronology of events to December 1975, 
in U.S. Forest Service records, Sierra ville Ranger Station, 
Sierraville, California. Cited hereafter as USFS, Sierraville. 
The Forest Service did exchange a much smaller parcel of 
land with the Sierra Pacific Power Company for a parcel near 
Independence Lake, since the transaction was consistent with 
the existing land-exchange program. 

9. "Disney Search for Resort Site," October 24, 1973, and 
"Walt Disney Plans for Sierra Lake Resort," July 18, 1974, 
San Francisco Chronicle. Also see "Family Resort Planned for 
Sierra," Southern Pacific Bulletin (September 1974), 6. 

10. "Independence Lake Project Cost Summary," attached to 
RonaldJ. Cayo, Disney vice-president for business affairs, to 
Sierra County Planning Commission, September 12, 1977, 
Sierra County Planning Department records, Downieville, 
California. Cited hereafter as SCPD, Downieville. 

1 1. "Independence Lake Village and Resort," a fact sheet dis- 
tributed by the U.S. Forest Service (n.d.), Stephen Benner 
Collection, Sierraville. 

12. Walt Disney Productions, "Independence Lake: Family 
Recreation for All Seasons" (1977), a promotional pamphlet. 

13. "Conservation Panel Supports Project," The Independence 
Lake Progress, I, No. 2 (January 1975), 3, a publication of 
Walt Disney Productions. 

14. "Sierra Club Opens Door to Disney," Nevada State Journal, 
October 10, 1974. 

15. "Disney Discloses Preliminary Studies Support Indepen- 
dence Lake Project," The Independence Lake Progress, I, No. 4 
(July 1975), 1. 

if). "In-Depth Environmental Studies Underway," Ibid., 7. 

17. "Forest Land Study Delayed; Disney Suspends Indepen- 
dence Project," The Independence Lake Progress, I, No. 5 
(December 1975), 1. 

18. "Mt. Lola-Independence Lake Proposal." 

19. Doug Leisz to Cayo, November 14, 1975, and Cayo, to 
Leisz, December 5, 1975, WED. 

20. November 4, 1975, cited in "Mt. Lola-Independence Lake 

21 . USDA-Forest Service Environmental Statement, Land Use Plan, 
Truckee-Little Truckee Rivers Planning Unit (May 28, 1976), 
pp. 16, 103. 

22. "Mt. Lola-Independence Lake Proposal." 

23. Land Use Plan, p. 18. 

24. Ibid., pp. 16-21, 122, 259-61. 

25. Dedrick to Richard L. Stauber, April 8, Ibid., p. 459. 

26. Peter C. Schneider to Robert Lancaster, October 22, 1976, 
Benner Collection . 

27. September 27, 1976, USFS, Sierraville. 

28. Copy in Benner Collection. Also see Robert G. Lancaster to 
"Concerned Citizen," February 7, 1977, Benner Collection; 
and "USFS Reveals Secret Pact with Disney," Sierra Sun- 
Bonanza, January 21, 1977. 

29. The policy and actions of the Forest Service are outlined in 
fact sheets attached to Lancaster to "Interested Citizen," 
November 1 1, 1976, and Lancaster to "Concerned Citizen," 
February 7, 1977, Benner Collection. 

30. Robert Lancaster to E. Cardon Walker, (n.d.), USFS, 
Sierraville. Also see Richard F Masse and Camille Broussard, 
"Land Exchange: A Case Study," Parks and Recreation, XII 
(December 1977), 26-29, 40-41. 

31. E. Cardon Walker, "1976: Year of Transition," Annual 
Report igj6: Walt Disney Productions, p. 6. 

32. Hicks to Sierra County Planning Commission, December 9, 
1976, WED. 

33. Hicks to "Those Concerned," January 19, 1977, WED. 

34. Memorandum from Secretary of Resources to Department 
Directors, Executive Officers of Boards and Commissions, 
February 15, 1977, WED. 

35. Beals to Chao, April 22, 1977, WED. 

36. These included the departments of Transportation, Forestry, 
and Fish and Game, and the State Lands Commission, the 
Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Water 
Resources Board, the Public Utilities Commission, and the 
Solid Waste Management Board. Goodson to RonaldJ. 
Cayo, March 25, 1977, SCPD, Downieville. 

37. Lancaster to "Interested Citizen," October 3, 1977, Benner 
Collection . 

38. Richard Adams to Forest Supervisor, January 26, 1977, 
USFS, Sierraville. 

39. James E. Smith to Goodson, April 6, 1977, Benner 
Collection . 

40. Memorandum from the Department of Fish and Game to 
Goodson, April 6, 1977, Benner Collection. 

41. Goodson to Tim Beals, May 11, 1977, Benner Collection. 

42. State of California Administrative Code, Title 14, 
Chapter 3, Resources, 15054.2. 

43. Lancaster to "Interested Citizen," November 1 1, 1976, 
Benner Collection. 

44. Thomas Graham, "Disney Files Resort Application with 
Sierra County," Tahoe World, July 28, 1977. 

45. Thomas Graham, "Forest Service, Sierra County Agree to 
Prepare Joint Environmental Review," Tahoe World, 
October 13, 1977. 

46. James M. Moose, Jr., to editor, Mountain Messenger, 
November 24, 1975, Al Gutowsky Collection, Sacramento. 


Independence Lake 

Earlier in October 1974, Sierra Club and Disney officials had 
conferred on the project and jointly visited Independence 

47. "Independence Lake Resort Plans Told," San Francisco 
Chronicle, July 18, 1975. 

48. Grctchen Williams to Jane Kimberlin, Sierra Club, 
November 20, 1975, Gutowsky Collection. Another 
group, Sierra County Citizens for Economic Survival, 
supported Disney's project and noted the economic benefits 
to county residents that would result from its development. 

49. Harry Halatyn, Sierra County General Plan (July 1970), p. 4. 

50. Joan Sweeney, "Sierra Lure — Urban Dropouts Bring Urban 
Problems," Los Angeles Times, March 25, 1979; and Harold 
Gilliam, "A Battle Over Growth in the Mother Lode," in 
This World in San Francisco Chronicle, October 22, 1978. 

51. G. Deane Prigmore, Placer County Associate Planner, to 
Lancaster, February 22, 1977, USFS, Sierra villc. Prigmore's 
statement was not supported by other county officials, 

52. Officials of Nevada County, which borders Independence 
Lake, argued even more strongly that their county should 
share responsibility for evaluating the Disney project. Eric 
Rood, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, to William Press, 
Director, Office of Planning and Research, December 15, 
1977, USFS, Sierraville. 

53. "Disney's New Land — Sierra," San Francisco Chronicle, 
May 1, 1977. 

54. Steve Benner to Al Gutowsky, September 22, 1977, Benner 

55. McCloskey to George Anderson, March 31, 1977, Benner 

56. Civil No. 5-77-445 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern 
District of California, filed February 21, 1978. 

57. "Judge Rejects Suit Against Disney," and "Disney Plaintiffs 
Respond," Mountain Messenger, February 23, 1978. 

58. TerraScan, "December Progress Report," January 15, 1978, 
SCPD, Downieville. 

59. TerraScan, "January Progress Report," February 15, 1978, 
SCPD, Downieville. 

60. "Minutes" of meeting of January 27, 1978; and Beals to 
Chao, March 1, 1978, SCPD, Downieville. 

61. A bill, AB 884, which took effect January 1, 1978, allowed 
the state's lead agency to waive the state's one year time limit 
for completion of an EIR if a joint EIR/EIS were to be issued. 

62. Form letter, February 6, 1978, SCPD, Downieville. 

63. Beals, memorandum of telephone conversation with 
Goodson, March 7, 1978, SCPD, Downieville. 

64. February 13, 1978, USFS, Sierraville. 

65. Disneynews (March 8, 1978), 6. Copies of Disney news 
releases are in the Walt Disney Productions Archives, 
Burbank, California. For a brief history of the events leading 

to this decision, see Robert A. Jones, "How Disney Resort 
Plans Went Awry," Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1978. 

66. March 27, 1978. 

67. Curiously, no similar accusation was leveled against any of 
the principal officials involved in the review process: Tim 
Beals, Frank Goodson, and Richard Adams. 

68. One alternative was a winter resort to service nearly twice as 
many skiers as proposed by Disney, based on the contention 
that Disney's proposed ski lifts could serve many more 

69. Disneynews (March 8, 1978), 4. 

70. "High-Handed Tactics," Sacramento Bee, March 24, 1978. 
"Statement Relative to the Mt. Lola-Independence Lake 
Project," presented before the Sierra County Planning 
Commission, March 22, 1978, SCPD, Downieville. 
Dave Carter, "Disney Wants the Governor's Help," 
Mountain Messenger, March 23, 1978. 

"Statement to Sierra County Planning Commission," March 
22, 1978, SCPD, Downieville. Disney questioned the 
validity of Bcal's account which it believed contained many 
errors and omissions. 

. Ken Payton, "Disney Asks Brown's Assurance on Sierra 
Resort Plan," Sacramento Bee, March 23, 1978. 

. "State, Disney Officials to Talk on Resort Issues," Los 
Angeles Times, April 9, 1978. 

. Sierra Club press release (n.d.). 

. "Disney Officials, Governor Confer," Mountain Messenger, 
May 1 1, 1978. 

. "Coalition Charges Disney Seeks Special Treatment for 
Project," Sacramento Bee, April 21, 1978. 

. [Nevada City, California: March 1978]. 

. Ibid., p. 13. 

. Transcript of CBS broadcast, IV, No. 31 (June 18, 1972), 
USFS, Sierraville. 

. Robert Hughes, "Disney: Mouscbrow to Highbrow," Time, 
CII (October 15, 1973), 88. 

. "Walt Disney World Wins ULI's 1981 Award of Excel- 
lence," Urban Land XLI (January 1982), 28-29. 

. "Independence Lake," Bonanza, XL, No. 4 (May 1978), 1, 
4-5, a publication of the Sierra Club's Mother Lode Chapter. 

. Lancaster to Richard Tuthill, Chairman, Sierra County 
Planning Commission, July 14, 1978; and Tuthill to 
Lancaster, July 21, 1978, Benner Collection. 
The future of Independence Lake remains an open question. 
Early in 1980, a Southern Pacific Land Company spokesman 
announced that his company was looking actively for a new 
partner to develop its property. "Southern Pacific Has 
Development Plan for Independence Lake," Tahoe U'orld, 
February 28, 1980. Also it is possible that Disney may 
reactivate its proposal. A year-round resort remains a distinct 







The Tree That 
Crossed A Continent 

The cutting crew and others at the base of the giant sequoia called the "General Noble. " The 
tree was to become an exhibit at the 1892 World's Columbian Exposition. 


Donald J. McGraw 

Nearly a half millenium after Christopher Columbus 
first landed in the New World, the citizens of 
America made preparations to celebrate the four 
hundreth birthday of the discovery. It was the 
intention of ardent men across the land to assemble 
a great exposition to demonstrate the achievements 
of America. The year of the great fair was to be 
1 891-1892. As is often the case with such gargantuan 
adventures the sheer weight of the machinery bogged 
down into the morass of good intentions, and it was 
not until October of 1 892 that Chicago hosted the 
World's Columbian Exposition, the first "Chicago 
World's Fair." 

A call went out across the country from the Fair 
committee to states, regions, and counties to prepare 
exhibitions of local successes to demonstrate to the 
world the agricultural, industrial, and cultural 
achievements of America. In a few counties — and in 
one in particular — the response to this summons was 
unique. The county of Tulare in east central 
California chose to send a cut section of a Giant 
Sequoia tree. 1 

It was not the first time such an unusual exhibit 
traveled east from California. Indeed, the matter of 
convincing fair-goers that such tree sections of the 
immensity common to the Giant Sequoia were real 
was no mean task. The state had sent a giant sequoia 
to the nation's centennial fair in 1876, but it had been 
so shoddily cut and reassembled that the label 
"California Hoax" had been given to it. This harsh 
appellation must have prejudiced at least some of the 
fair-goers, but the new giant from Tulare county was 
indeed the real article, as is made apparent from 
existing records. 

Though highlights of the story of the Tulare 
section have been recorded in the past, previously 
unpublished materials have come to light which we 
hope will lend this present study more completeness 
and accuracy. Among the most important of these 

new materials is a number of unique photographs 
made of the cutting operation by pioneer 
photographer C. C. Curtis (see center pages of this 
article), and several recorded interviews. 

In Kern County, California, in 1892, efforts had for 
some time been underway to select exhibition 
material for the exposition. In a plan formulated 
in meetings between Kern and Fresno counties, 
it had been decided to ask Tulare County to 
join in a three-county central California exhibit 
consortium. A communication sent to the interested 
commission (which was already in existence in 
Visalia, Tulare County) was received favorably and 
its secretary responded that it would accept the 
tri-county invitation. 2 The commission then quickly 
approached the County Board of Supervisors to 
request an appropriation of $5,000 in order to prepare 

Dr. Donald J. McGraw's hybrid background in the life sciences 
and the history of science has led him into a variety of historical 
investigations. In his capacity as a consultant in the history of 
science he has performed project work in diverse areas — from 
the history of antibiotics to that of scientific research in the 
national parks. 

For their many efforts the author wishes to thank Harold 
Schutt of the Tulare County Historical Society; Robert Truax of 
the Columbia Historical Society; Doris Randall and Marge 
Hamlin of the Tulare County Library; the staff of Sequoia 
and Kings Canyon National Parks; authors Hank Johnston, 
Ralph W. Andrews, Kramer Adams; Elbert Little and Paul 
Spivey of the U.S. Forest Service; Llewelyn Williams, of the 
Agricultural Research Service; Helena M. Weiss, 1 ). H. Nicolson 
and Conrad V. Morton of the National Museum of Natural 
History-Smithsonian Institution; David Mendenhall. Chicago 
Public Library; Kenneth B. Pomeroy. American Forestry 
Association; Larry L. Meyer, Westways Magazine; the Records 
Historian, U.S. Army; and Lee S. Motteler, of Rand-McNally 
and Company. 

A rather different edition of this history was first published in 
the Proceedings of the First Conference on Scientific Research m the 
National Parks, edited by Robert Linn, American Institute of 
Biological Sciences — National Park Service, 1979, Vol. 1. 


a fitting exhibit. The Board took the matter under 
advisement with a promise to respond within a day 
or two. Apparently that did not happen, for on July 
1 1 , 1 892, the Visalia Daily Times indicated that it had 
reminded the Board and others who read the news- 
paper that "the matter [of the appropriation] must 
not be dropped and all persons who have the wel- 
fare of the county at heart should give the matter 
their aid and attention." 3 The editors went on to 
suggest a petition be circulated to urge action on the 
part of the Board. 

Several petitions were indeed circulated — but all in 
opposition to the appropriation! The Times editors 
remarked that the matter "seems to have settled itself 
down to a one-sided question." 4 Yet, inexplicably, 
the matter was reversed by late July and early August 
when a long series of newspaper articles, not only in 
the Times, but in other local dailies, began discussions 
on the Giant Sequoia that had been selected for the 
exhibit. Other evidence indicates that not $5,000 but 
$1 5,000 was actually appropriated. 5 How this change 

came about remains a mystery. 

The actual exhibit tree — called the General 
Noble — was selected, after at least some debate, 
as the one to represent Tulare County in Chicago. 
It is an interesting aside that the tree itself was not 
actually within the confines of the county boundary 
lines of Tulare, but slightly to the north in Fresno 
County. Evidently this never led to any acrimony. 
The tree was to represent only Tulare County and 
was not part of the tri-county consortium. As a 
group, the three counties exhibited various 
agricultural products. 

The name General Noble, like the names of so 
many other famous Giant Sequoias, recognized a 
military leader from the period of the War between 
the States. The Nobel was apparently the namesake 
of John Willock Noble (1 831-19 12), soldier, lawyer, 
and finally Secretary of the Interior. A native of 
Lancaster, Ohio, there is no evidence he ever saw the 
tree in its native environs. Whether he ever saw it at 
all or even knew of its existence as an exhibit at the 


Another view oj the gathered men and supplies at the 
base of the General Noble. Some can also be seen in 
the preceding photograph. 

fair is equally unknown. However, the exhibit 
section held the most prominent place in the most 
notable building at the fair, the United States 
Government Building. Therefore, it would not seem 
surprising to surmise that Nobel saw it, or was, 
at least, aware of the section. The official history 
written on the fair calls the tree section the John W. 
Noble tree, 6 and it is a fact that Noble, as Interior 
Secretary, strongly supported the American Forestry 
Association in regard to land law revisions in 1891. 7 
Who named the tree for him and when is not 



n August 12, 1892, the first of three cross- 
cuts was made into the General Noble and its 
existence as an exhibit for the next thirty-nine years 
was established, although, of course, its existence as 
a living thing came sadly to a halt. 8 Its story is not 
unlike that of other giant trees that were felled for 
exhibit or profit. What took nature thousands of 
years to create was destroyed by man in mere 
moments. Today all that remains is the stump of the 
Noble, badly scorched by a major, man-caused 
forest fire in 1955. In the Sequoia National Forest, 
just five and a half miles by road north of General 
Grant Grove, Kings Canyon National Park, one can 
visit the "Chicago Stump," as it is now called. 

The skepticism greeting the appearance of the 1876 
centennial "hoax" was not to be heard in 1893. 
Several factors must account for that. Many more 
people had seen the great trees in their native habitat 

*Most trees named for generals were so named by men who 
fought under them during the War Between the States and who 
later came west, often seeking adventure and fortune in the Sierra 
Nevadan lumbering enterprises. But no other tree within several 
miles of the Noble was named after a general in the 1860s to 
1 880s. It is this author's impression that the Noble was so 
christened only shortly before the cutting, and was not named by 
veterans but by local lumbermen. 

by the 1890s than by 1876. Of more importance, 
however, was the photographic evidence provided 
by Curtis. A third factor was also responsible for the 
belief that the exhibit was not a hoax: the Noble 
section was very carefully prepared as compared to 
the Centennial tree. 9 

The General Noble grew on a piece of land in a 
magnificent Sequoia Grove known as the Converse 
Basin. The land was owned by the U.S. Government 
and was a forest reserve. However, since a contract 
for sequoia cutting operations was held for that area 
by the Smith and Moore Company; they in effect 
owned the Noble. The World's Fair Commission of 
Visalia purchased the Noble for $5,000 from Smith 
and Moore, who opened contract bids to cut and haul 
the sections. The successful bidder was a Mr. Burr 
Mitchell of the nearby village of Miramonte. 10 Since 
very few roads existed (even by 1 892) in that heavily 
lumbered basin, a contract to build a wagon road to 
haul out the sections was granted Mr. R. Ball of 
LeGrand, California, by Smith and Moore. 11 The 
road cost $i,500. 12 When the road was complete, it 
was possible to haul the sections to the valley hamlet 
of Monson, which was the railhead. What happened 
to the money remaining from the initial $15,000 is 
not clear. 

The first cut made that mid-August was fifty-two 
feet above the level of the ground, according to most 
reports. 13 A local surveyor, Fred Beraria, had made 
extensive studies of the tree and indicated that the 
diameter at fifty-two feet was nineteen feet six 
inches. 14 Although sequoias are routinely cut some 
distance above the ground to avoid the so-called 
"butt swell" at their bases, the matter of fifty-two 
feet might seem excessive. That height was chosen, 
however, to preserve for exhibit the considerable 
quality material below that level and above the swell. 

Though a number of men were present during the 
cutting, only five were actually involved in felling 


The Felling of a Giant 


Opposite page: Initial scaffolding prior to 
first cut. Platform is at fifty -two feet above 
ground level. The men are not identified, 
but it is possible that the woman at top is 
Charles Curtis' wife. 

The actual Fall of the Noble. Although 
this reproduction is not of good quality, it 
is apparent that the original photograph 
was very well done. To catch a tree in the 
act of falling without a blur on the older, 
slow -speed films was the mark of a 
first-rate photographer. 


A view of the upper portion of the Noble as it lay on the ground (lower left). The great split 
later to be "patched" can be seen on the left side of the tall stump (right of center). 

Time out for a bear hunt. Note slain 
American Black Bear at lower center. 
The men are not identified, but hunter 
(with rifle) may be Creed Archer. 

Hollowing and sectioning the "upper 

room" (top). Note careful handling of 

exhibit section on end of winch line. 


The wheel section (floor of "upper room") has been 
removed. The platform is in the third, or lowest, 
position preparatory to cutting sections of the "lower 
room" of the exhibit. This picture, printed 
backwards, shows the split on the right side of the 
trunk above one man's head. In the view at right, 
men stand inside the "lower room." 


The last wagon (bottom left) leaves with exhibit section and the cutting is complete. 


Wagons with sections move down the specially constructed road on the way to the railhead. 

Tree that Crossed a Continent 

the tree. Burr Mitchell, Will Irwin, Dayton Dickey 
and Jesse Pattee were involved as workers. Pattee 
(d. 195 1) indicated that a "Captain" Jamison 15 was the 
foreman. 16 The story of the cutting, which took 
thirteen days, has been given in short sketches in 
Gray, the Historical Bulletin, 17 in a variety of 
contemporary newspaper articles, and in some more 
recent publications such as Ralph Andrews' Redwood 
Classic. 18 Not previously available in its entirety, 
however, is the text of a wire-recorded interview 
with Jesse Pattee done some years ago. 19 A similar 
interview with C. C. Curtis is also enlightening. 20 
A blending of these sources makes the story both 
more complete and more vivid, but no less factual. 
Jamison himself did not actually handle any cutting 
tools; only Pattee and his three colleagues did. Pattee 
remembers that "two Scotsmen, riggers from San 
Francisco, helped with scaffolds and ropework." 
Their names are unrecorded. As the main portion of 
the tree toppled from the first cut it was expected to 
clear the tall stump with no difficulties. Indeed, a 
considerable number of falling wedges were inserted 
(by Mitchell) in the saw cut to assure a clean fall. But 
such a fall did not occur. The massive bulk of the tree 
slipped back upon the stump and smashed the 
scaffolding, leaving no apparent escape route for 
Pattee and his partner at that dangerous moment. As 
the tree fell the two men jumped onto the tall stump 
as their only avenue of escape. They lay there face 
down, arms and legs spread, for a period of twenty 
minutes. It took that long for the tremors to cease 
before they could stand upright! — or so the story 
goes. The uneven fall broke off a large portion of 
bark and sapwood from the intended exhibit material 
below the cut. Curtis recorded that splintered piece 
on film, but it is believed that the photograph is no 
longer in existence. Pattee said that the crew decided 
to "patch" on the splinter and "no one seemed to 
notice [it] at Chicago or anywhere else. 

was a tribute to the lumberjacks, for it was just such 
patching of even the properly cut parts on the 1876 
tree that was so shoddy as to leave the impression of a 

The next step was to remove staves of bark and 
sapwood, each fourteen feet in length. The interior 
(heartwood) of the stump was hollowed out and, 
according to Pattee, discarded. Pattee indicated that 
the sections were marked with a pattern of nails 
driven into each section. This facilitated reassembly 
in Chicago, but by whom it is not known. 

After the staves were removed, a fresh stump 
surface thirty-eight feet above the ground existed. A 
two-foot-thick wheel (circular) section was removed 
in pie-wedge pieces. This became the floor for the 
upper "room" of the final two-story high exhibit. 
Another fourteen feet of staves were removed. This 
finally yielded two rooms, one above the other and 
each with fourteen- foot high walls. The upper room 
had a two-foot thick floor. The lower room had a 
ceiling, but the upper room was without one. 

Mr. Ball (builder of the wagon road) hauled the 
carefully labeled and crated sections from the 
Converse Basin to the rail line at Monson. There the 
boxes were shipped to Chicago. No shipping date is 
known, but it may have been about August 25, 1 892, 
or some time thereafter. The entire operation was 
recorded masterfully by Curtis, whose story in 
regard to the project is a poignant one. 




e repair 

lative of Marshalltown, Iowa, Charles Curtis 
(dates believed to be 1 862-1955) first came to Cal- 
ifornia in 1 88 1. 22 He joined a photography studio in 
Hanford, California, in 1884 and became a partner 
with a man named Tandy who had advertised for an 
apprentice to learn the photographic trade. Shortly 
thereafter, Curtis joined the now-famous Kaweah 
Colony, one of several well-known experiments in 


Charles C. Curtis made an agreement just 

prior to the cutting of the Noble to 

photograph the entire process. He said it 

was "no firm deal." 

socialism in the United States during the nineteenth 
century. Headquartered at Visalia, the colony sought 
to cut timber, including Giant Sequoias, in the area of 
Giant Forest in what soon came to be known as 
Sequoia National Park. The federal proclamation 
creating the Park in 1890 forestalled the cutting 
plans. The colony dissolved not long afterward. 23 
Thereafter, for eleven summer seasons, Curtis did 
photographic work in the sequoia forests of the High 
Sierra in and near what is now Kings Canyon and 
Sequoia National Parks. Additionally, he engaged in 
such work in a variety of nearby valley communities. 
Just prior to the cutting of the Noble, Curtis made 
an agreement with Smith and Moore to photograph 
the entire process. It was "no firm deal," he said, 24 
but the loose contract did ensure him funds to 
develop and produce "thousands of [photographic] 
prints." Upon completion of the field work and 
preparation of prints, he went to the fairgrounds in 
Chicago with the intention of selling copies to fair 
visitors. His discovery that only one Chicago-based 
firm (The Werner Company) had sole photographic 
concession rights came as a rude shock. It was 

possible, though, to obtain a sales license from that 
company for $250 per sales booth and twenty-five 
percent of the gross receipts. 25 The amount was 
beyond his means and so he telegraphed Smith 
and Moore at their corporate headquarters in San 
Francisco. He received no reply for several days, and 
then read in a Chicago newspaper the saddening 
news that the Smith and Moore Company had 
failed. 26 However, a corporate biographer of Smith 
and Moore, Hank Johnston, does not provide 
evidence to support Curtis' recollection. 27 The 
company was in financial distress in 1892-4, 
however, but did not fail outright. What actually 
happened between Curtis and Smith and Moore over 
his funding request remains yet another mystery. 

In desperation Curtis turned to the Werner 
Company, holders of the exclusive concession rights, 
and sold "two or three thousand prints" to them. 28 
By that time his ready cash had ebbed to the point 
that he sought a loan from one of his distant relatives 
living in Chicago. The loan was sufficient only to get 
him back to California. 2 '' 

Soon after his return, he read a newspaper article 


Tree that Crossed a Continent 

concerning a great warehouse fire in Chicago. It was 
the Werner warehouse wherein all his prints (though 
not negatives) were stored. The company had no 
insurance. About that time some unknown 
individual offered Curtis $3,000 for the Noble 
negatives, but on the basis of the loose contract with 
Smith and Moore, Smith disallowed the sale. 30 

The demoralized Curtis moved to the Kettleman 
Plains on the west side of California's great Central 
Valley where he owned 160 acres of land. He had 
previously purchased the land just after the Kaweah 
Colony failed near Sequoia National Park. He 

photographed the grain harvests there, but lost what 
little money he had. His health began to fail as well. 
He moved northward to San Jose, California and 
took a laborer's position in a spice mill there in 1 899. 
He hid a great number of photographic negatives 
under some floor boards in the mill building. 31 Soon 
thereafter he moved to nearby San Francisco. In that 
city he worked at the J. A. Folger Company, coffee 
importers. He was credited with being one of the 
four men who helped save the Folger Mill from 
burning during the great earthquake and fire of 1906. 
Shortly after the holocaust he learned that the San 

The home of Charles Curtis and his family while 
recording the Noble cutting. The house is built upon 
a sequoia stump. Curtis is looking out the window 
with a daughter by his side. 


California History 

Jose spice mill was to be razed. He was able to 
recover the negatives without incident, however. 32 

Curtis passed the remainder of his life first in 
Berkeley, and then later, Pasadena, California. Little 
more has been published on his life than that related 
above. His role in the history of western Americana 
and in photography is a story yet to be told. 

The camera he employed was a monstrosity of 
forty-five pounds and used glass negative plates 
measuring eight by ten inches. To develop the 
negatives Curtis awaited nightfall and worked under 
a red lantern. The prints were made on albumin 
paper which had been sensitized by silver nitrate 
solution. 33 

The series of photographs accompanying this 
article are, to the author's knowledge, all of the 
pictures still extant taken by Curtis of the Noble 
cutting. Each picture is described separately in the 
figure legends. Ralph Andrews has indicated in his 
Redwood Classic that all pictures of the cutting 
operation are published in his work (1958), but this is 
not the case. Curtis has said that he took 
eighteen pictures of the operation. 34 Andrews 
shows considerably fewer. The present work is not 
complete either, but is believed to be as complete as is 
now possible. Curtis has indicated implicitly that he 
provided Harold Schutt of the Tulare County 
Historical Society with copies of all remaining 
views. 35 These and other photographs accompany 
this article. 


lthough the history of the World's Columbian 
Exposition has been best treated by Truman, 36 it was 
in the pages of the Visalia Daily Times that one felt the 
most fervor of the period. The Times began a 
two-year series on happenings at the "World's Fair" 
on July 2, 1892. The paper reported that not only 
would a great many exhibits be in the California 

Building, but the Noble section would have the 
distinction of standing in the great rotunda of the 
United States Government Building — surely a 
distinct honor. 

On October 20, 1892 — nearly a year later than 
originally planned — "an immense parade" of more 
than 50,000 participants opened the World's 
Columbian Exposition. Newspaper accounts in 
Tulare County indicate that considerable excitement 
had been generated by the Fair. Local merchants 
capitalized on the event in a variety of ways. 
Merchants S. Sweet and Company in Visalia offered 
hard bound books ( The Columbian World's Fair Atlas) 
to their customers free of charge. 37 Tulare County 
residents were exhorted to see the fair and their 
county exhibit in person by purchasing a ticket on the 
Santa Fe route. The exhortation in part reads: 

Ho For Chicago! 

How to get to the World's Fair is the question 

The railroads want $100 

for the round trip ticket 

and there are many people 

in Tulare County who will 

have to stay at home. This 

will be too bad for everything 

worth seeing in the civilized 

world will be on exhibition in 

the windy city . . . 38 

Therefore, one had only to contact the Visalia Daily 
Times office to find out how, for three weeks' labor 
(doing what was not specified), one could earn 
enough money for the trip. So it was in Visalia and 
across the country: Ho for Chicago. How many 
Visalia residents or other fair-goers ever saw the 
Noble remains unknown. 39 The fair passed into 
American history and in most instances the exhibits 
went back to their respective states. The Noble 
section, however was destined for another, rather 
bizarre, fate. 


Above, the U.S. Government Building at the 
World's Columbian Exposition. The Noble exhibit 
(right) as it appeared in the rotunda of the building. 



The Noble exhibit as it appeared while on the Mall in Washington D.C. Note the 
cupola-bearing roof which at first protected visitors to its interior and later the stored lawn-care 
tools. The photograph was taken in 1915. 

The Noble tree stump ("Chicago 
Stump") in 1950 with Jesse Pattee in 
foreground. Note that the bark has almost 
completely sloughed off. 


.t the close of the Fair in 1893, the Noble was 
moved (by whom, by whose orders, or exactly 
when, are unknown) to Washington, D.C. There, 
on a concrete slab poured for the purpose, stood 
the Noble Tree section from 1893 until 1932. With 
a cupola roof it hosted visitors for many years. 
But, sometime prior to 1932, its spiral staircase 
was condemned and the whole exhibit closed to 
public use. 

For several more years the section held implements 
used by federal employees in their lawn work near 
the original Department of Agriculture building. The 
Noble stood near the northwest corner of Inde- 
pendence Avenue and Twelfth Street, Southwest, on 
the Mall proper. Various guidebooks of the day 
noted it. 40 

"The Rambler" (columnist Harry Shannon) in the 

October 31, 191 5, issue of the Washington Sunday 
Star said: 

The old redwood tree trunk which has stood in the 
[Agriculture] grounds since mature men and women of 
Washington were boys and girls, has taken on a mantle of 
ivy. Few persons pass this old relic without stopping to 
examine it and at least pay it the tribute of a glance, and 
this long dead tree is one of the most frequently 
photographed objects in the Capitol. 

Several years later it was a central picture in the 
artgravurc section of the Washington Post. 4 * 

In 1932, for unknown reasons, it was dismantled 
and placed in storage in a steel shed at the United 
States Department of Agriculture Experiment Farm 
in Arlington, Virginia. In 1952, a manager of the 
Pacific Lumber Company of San Francisco wrote the 
National Park Service (NPS), inquiring about the 


California History 

disposition of an exhibit section which he surmised 
was a tree that was cut in 1854. The NPS seemed 
uninformed in 1952 about the Noble, and directed 
the letter to David Lynn, then Architect of the 
Capitol. He seemed as poorly informed, but believed 
the Noble had been moved to Beltsville, Maryland, 
when the Experiment Farm land was transferred 
to the Army for war use. This has never been 
substantiated. 42 

In 1956, W. D. McClellan, a native of Tulare 
County and employed at the United States 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington 

I have talked with several men at Beltsville who were 
acquainted with the Sequoia tree . . . Jimmy Taylor our 
greenhouse foreman, Joe Rhodes and Johnny Alexander 
our two fieldmen, were all familiar with it. They said they 
used it for tool storage . . . After removal from [the Mall] 
to Arlington Farm it was enclosed in sheet metal. None of 
these men know of any order for moving it when [the 
Farm] was taken over by the Armed Forces for 
[construction of] the Pentagon. Rhodes and Alexander 
were the last two men to move material from Arlington 
Farm to Beltsville. 

Just by chance I did talk with a man at Beltsville who 
had just previously been told of the final disposition of the 
tree. It seems that the Colonel [in charge of the move] 
called someone in Beltsville [at USDA] asking what they 
wanted done with the tree. This Colonel was told to forget 
he had asked the question and to use his own judgement. 
What he did I don't know but the tree may be buried under 
the Pentagon to be unearthed by some future archeologists 
who will speculate on the finding of a Sequoia Gigantia 
[sic] in that location! 43 

It seems an inglorious end for such a noble tree, a fate 
that has been shared in one way or another by far too 
many of these magnificent trees. One can seek, this 
writer supposes, at least one consolation, in the fact 
that, in symbolizing something of America's natural 
greatness, the Noble served an important educational 
purpose through its long journey. It has become part 
of the American Odyssey. 

Photographs on pages 120, 122, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129 and 
137 are courtesy of the Tulare County Historical Society, 
Harold Schutt Collection. Those appearing on pages 130, 132 
and 133 are reproduced from Ralph W. Andrews Redwood 
Classic. The view of the U.S. Government Building is from Ben 
C. Truman, History of the World's Fair. The photograph of the 
Noble exhibit on page 135 first appeared in a German language 
guide to the fair. It is of unknown origin. The second 
photograph of the Noble exhibit, on the Mall, is courtesy of the 
Columbia Historical Society. 


1 . The scientific name of the Giant Sequoia is Sequoiadendron 
giganteum. See R. J. Hartesveldt, et al., The Giant Sequoia of 
the Sierra Nevada (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government 
Printing Office, 1975), p. 24. 

2. Article, Visalia Daily Times, June 7, 1892, p. 2. 

3. Article, Visalia Daily Times, June 11, 1892, p. 1. 

4. Article, Visalia Daily Times, July 25, 1892, p. 2. 

5. Fern Gray, And the Giants Were Named (Three Rivers, 
California: Sequoia National History Association, n.d.), 
p. 12. 

6. Maj. Ben C. Truman, History of the World's Fair (Chicago: 
Monarch Book Co., 1893). 

7. Dumas Malone, ed., The Dictionary of American Biography 
(New York: Scribners, 1934), p. 539ff 

8. The date of August 12 has never been published elsewhere 
but is established by an article in the Visalia Daily Times, 
August 13, 1892, p. 1. 

9. Historical Bulletin (Visalia, California: Tulare County 
Historical Society, October, 1950), No. 6. This Bulletin 
remains the most authoritative source on Giant Sequoia 
exhibitions. See esp., p. 1-6. 

10. Gray, Giants Named and Bulletin, p. 1. 

1 1 . Gray, Giants Named. 

12. Article, Visalia Daily Times, August 13, 1892, p. 1. 

13. Gray, Giants Named and Fresno Weekly Republican, August 19, 
1892, p. 8. However, others set the height at fifty feet. See 
Bulletin, p. 1. 

14. Gray, Giants Named. 

15. The U.S. Army has no records of a Captain Jamison, and no 
other sources discuss him. His identity has remained a 
mystery. All others mentioned above and in the figures were 
local lumberjacks or, in Mitchell's case, a local 

Harold Schutt, transcript of a wire-recorder interview with 
Jesse Pattee, February 17, 1947. Xerographic copy of 
transcript in author's file. 



Tree that Crossed a Continent 

17. Bulletin. 

18. Ralph W. Andrews, Redwood Classic (New York: Bonanza, 
1958), p. 109 

19. Schutt, transcript. 

20. The transcript of an interview with C. C. Curtis done by 
J. R. Challacombe, no date, a popular expositor on sequoia 
lore, was provided to the author by Harold Schutt. 
Xerographic copy in author's files. 

21. Challacombe, transcript. 

22. In Redwood Classic, Andrews states (p. 109) that Curtis came 
to California prior to 1880. This is apparently derived from 
an interview with one of Curtis' daughters conducted by 
Andrews. This seems in error as Curtis himself has stated, at 
least twice, that the year was 1881. The corroboration is in 
the interview with Curtis by Challacombe and in a letter 
from Curtis to Schutt in 1950. Neither of these sources was 
available to Andrews. 

23. The history of the colony has been treated in several 
publications, but see Douglas Hillman Strong Trees or Timber 
(Three Rivers, California: Sequoia Natural History 
Association, n.d.), p. 22ff. 

24. Challacombe, transcript. 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid. 

27. Hank Johnston, They Felled the Redwoods (Los Angeles: 
Trans-Anglo Books, 1966), p. 24. 

28. Challacombe, transcript. 

29. Ibid. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Andrews Classic, p. 109, and Challacombe, transcript. 

32. Andrews, Classic, p. 109. 
33- Ibid. 

34. Schutt, 1950 letter, and Challacombe, transcript. 

35. Schutt, 1950 letter 

36. Truman, History. 

37. Advertisement and copperplate, Visalia Daily Times, January 
12, ff, 1893, p. 3. 

38. Advertisement and copperplate, Visalia Daily Times, August 
2, ff, 1893, p. 3. 

39. In addition to the 8,000 half pound boxes of raisins given out 
by Fresno County exhibitors during the Fair, they also 
displayed a mysterious statuette. Carved by "a young 
Italian" in the likeness of Mercury, the statue was said to have 
been from wood taken from the Noble. A picture of such a 
sequoia-wood statuette exists in the files of Grant Grove, 
Kings Canyon National Park (and in the author's collection), 
but its origin is unknown. As well, the identity of the "young 
Italian" remains mysterious. Report of the World's Fair 
Commission (San Francisco: State of California, 1893), p. 43. 

40. For example, a variety of Rand-McNally Guidebooks of the 
Capitol mention it, viz., "A tower in the garden, composed 

of slabs with their foot thick bark from one of the giant trees 
(Sequoia) of California, should not be neglected, for it 
represents the exact size of the huge tree, General Noble, 
from which the pieces were cut" (1900 edition; same 
wording for next fifteen yearly editions). Also, it is shown in 
map form in What there is to See in the United States Department 
of Agriculture (Washington, D.C.: U.S.D.A., ca. 1922), 
p. 6, and map (unnumbered pg.) 

41. Article and photograph, Washington Post, March 13, 1921, 
artgravure section. 

42. Edric E. Brown, letter to Director, NPS, January 11, 1952; 
and David Lynn letter to Edric C. Brown, November 6, 
1952. Xerographic copies in author's files from originals in 
files of Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. 

43. W.D. McClellan, in a letter from him quoted in Los Tulares 
(successor to the Historical Bulletin), Quarterly Bulletin of the 
Tulare County Historical Society , No. 26, March 1, 1956, p. 2. 


Sylvia Arden 

The San Diego Historical 
Society Research Archives 


W. Michael Mathcs, Reviews Editor 

Bulging at the seams with collections at several 
locations around the city, the San Diego Historical 
Society is busy completing a spacious Research 
Archives in the lower floor of the new Museum of 
San Diego History in the rebuilt "Electric" building 
in Balboa Park. In a few months, the remarkable 
collections of the Society will finally be housed in 
one location, making available to researchers the 
most important and complete Research Archives on 
the history of San Diego County. 

Presently, a large portion of the Historical Soci- 
ety's library is housed in the Junipero Serra Museum 
in Presidio Park. The library and manuscripts col- 
lection was a prime consideration set forth in the 
Articles of Incorporation when the Society was 
incorporated December 14, 1928: "... for the dis- 
covery, collection and preservation of books, pam- 
phlets, maps, genealogies, portraits, paintings, re- 
lics, manuscripts, letters, journals, surveys, field 
books, and any and all other books, articles or mate- 
rials which may establish or illustrate the history of 
Western America, particularly the County of San 
Diego and the State of California, and the publica- 
tion and dissemination of such historical matter as 
this corporation may authorize." 

George W. Marston, founder and first president 
of the San Diego Historical Society, presented the 
Serra Museum and the surrounding acreage, called 
Presidio Park, as a gift to the City of San Diego in 
1929. It was his wish that the museum would be the 
home of the newly formed Historical Society. Built 
near the site of the first Spanish mission in Alta 
California, the museum also pays tribute to Califor- 
nia's mission founder, Fr. Junipero Serra, and San 
Diego's Spanish and Mexican period. 

The collections of the San Diego Pioneer Society, 

Sylvia Arden is Head Librarian/Archivist for the San Diego 
Historical Society. 








During the Fall of ig82 the San Diego Historical 
Society's Research Archives will be moving to the 
lower floor of the new Museum of San Diego 
History in Balboa Park. Below, an artist's rendering 
of the proposed reading room for the facility. 


California History 

Longtime San Diego Historical 
Davidson, together with his wife 
much of the early growth of the 

Society director, John 
Winifred, were responsible for 
Society's library. 

organized in 1895, formed the start of the San Diego 
Historical Society's library and manuscript collec- 
tions. This nucleus of material continued to grow 
under the foresighted and persistent efforts of the 
museum's longtime first director, John Davidson 
(1930-1954) and his wife, Winifred, a devoted vol- 
unteer assistant. Two major and unique projects 
were undertaken by Winifred Davidson. She trans- 
lated the original Spanish Franciscan Mission re- 
cords of baptisms, marriages, and burials preserved 
at Mission San Diego de Alcala. Visiting nearly 
every town and village in the County, she 
interviewed pioneers and descendants, transcribing 
from shorthand valuable historical notes for the 
Society's files. 

As the city and county of San Diego grew, with a 
steady increase in colleges and universities, rede- 
velopment projects, preservation of houses, build- 
ings and other historic sites, and an aroused public 
interest, the Society's collections and use of collec- 
tions has increased accordingly. 

Today, the wide range of library source material 
covers every facet of activity in the San Diego re- 
gion in depth, from the earliest period of Indians and 
explorers, to twentieth century urban history. In- 
cluded are unique collections such as biographical 
notebooks containing information on thousands of 
San Diegans who have contributed to the history of 
the area. The 1438 subject files, ranging from Ad- 
mission Day to Zoo, are continually growing with 
articles from city and county newspapers. 

Manuscripts, diaries, letters, census records, city 
directories, letter press books, minute books, busi- 
ness ledgers, pamphlets, books, publications and 
architectural records cover a broad range of activi- 
ties. The careful subject indexing over the years is 
appreciated by the thousands of researchers seeking 
all kinds of information. 

The San Diego Historical Society has one of the 


The Junipero Sena Museum is seen 
above not long after its construction. The 
donor of the building, George W. 
Marston, takes an automobile ride (seated 
at center) with two other important San 
Diegans: businessman Ed Fletcher, at the 
wheel, and city planner fohn Nolan. 


Shortly after the construction of the Serra Museum in \gzg, the interior of the original Historical Society library was photographed. 
A collection of books and manuscripts would soon fill the empty shelves. 

most successful volunteer oral history programs in 
the country. Started under Director Jerry Mac- 
Mullen in 1957, long before oral history developed 
into the current popular method of obtaining first 
hand knowledge for historical purposes, the 550 
typed transcripts available to researchers continues 
to increase. This is primarily due to the capable, 
dedicated volunteers who interview, transcribe, edit 
and type the final transcripts. 

Volunteers are also busy cataloging and encap- 
sulating the Society's important map collection 
which will be ready for use by researchers in the 
new Research Archives. 

When the Society moves into its new head- 
quarters, it will have the necessary facilities to make 
available a large collection of historical records 
from the city and county of San Diego. These re- 
cords include the minutes of the San Diego City 


The San Diego Historical Society's 
photograph collection contains roughly 
200,000 images relating to the city and 
county. Here, a group of visitors to 
Mission Dam are seen about 1912. 

Council from 1 889-1959 and the accompanying 
Ordinances and Resolutions, Board of Public Work 
Minutes, Deed Records and Assessment Rolls. 
From the County are the Board of Supervisor Min- 
utes from 1 875-1954, various Treasurer's records, 
Assessor's rolls, Articles of Incorporation, Human 
Relations Commission files, Coroner's Inquests, 
and more. The largest group of records is from the 
County Courts, including the case files of the Court 
of Sessions and its successor the Superior Court 
from the 1870s to 1921. This represents nearly 
40,000 individual cases. Also forming a part of this 
collection are the Superior Courts' Register of 
Actions — Civil and Crminal from 1 880-1945. 

The Society's photograph collection numbers 
roughly 200,000 images of the city and county 
covering a period of over 100 years of visual history. 
A major portion of this archive is the prestigious 
Title Insurance and Trust Collection donated to the 
Society in 1979. There are many thousands of 
original prints plus more than 140,500 negatives, 
many of them the original working negatives of 

professional photographers in San Diego since the 
1 860s. Included among these are the negative files of 
the Union Tribune Publishing Company from the 
early 1920s through the early 1960s. Books, maps, 
manuscripts, abstracts, blueprints, plat books and 
other historical material arc also a part of the 
donation from Title Insurance and Trust. 

Currently, the San Diego Historical Society Li- 
brary and Manuscripts Collection in Presidio Park's 
Junipero Serra Museum is open Tuesday through 
Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Saturdays noon 
to 4:45 p.m. There is a nominal charge to non- 
members of the Society. The photograph collection, 
located in downtown San Diego at 220 A Street, is 
open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 
4:00 p.m. (714) 232-9544. Due to the impending 
move, it is advisable to call (714) 297-3258 for loca- 
tion, hours, charges and availability of collections. 

The photographs arc courtesy of the San Diego Historical 
Society Title Insurance and Trust Collection. 


Book Reviews 

Brio red Sister: The Letters of James Henry Gleason, 
1841 to 1839. 

Compiled with notes by Duncan and Dorothy Gleason. 
(Glendale, California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 
1978. 226 pp. $15.00). 

Reviewed by George P. Hammond, Professor of History 
and Director Emeritus of the Bancroft Library, University of 
California. Berkeley, author of Don Juan de Onate and other 
studies on the founding of New Mexico and the early history of 
the southwest. 

This little volume of just over 200 pages contains the letters 
of young, ambitious James Henry Gleason of Plymouth, 
Massachusetts, to his cherished sister, Frances, at home. 
Written while he was in Honolulu and later Monterey, 
California, the letters provide a lively commentary on the 
contemporary social and business scene in both places. 

Gleason was born on October 22, 1823, of a good 
family. Since there was little prospect of a career in the 
village of his birth, he was sent abroad to become a clerk in 
the business of his uncle, John Paty, in Honolulu. He 
departed from Plymouth in July, 1841, on the famous old 
California, a ship noted in the annals of the Pacific trade. 
For young Gleason — he celebrated his 1 8th birthday while 
at sea — the voyage was indeed an adventure. In his letters 
he described such events as "speaking" their first vessel at 
sea, off Cape Verde, or passing stormy Cape Horn. There 
the weather was extremely cold, he wrote, "occasioned by 
a southerly wind which blew off the ice." Soon, however, 
they were in Pacific waters and the weather improved. By 
the first of December they were approaching their 
destination, the island of Oahu, and on December 2, 1841, 
they furled the sails and disembarked in Honolulu. The 
voyage which had taken 1 54 days, was over and they were 
rowed ashore. Gleason was in good health, he insisted, and 
was delighted to find himself in such pleasant 

In Honolulu young Gleason served as business secretary 
and agent for his uncle, John Paty. Keeping the account 
books up to date was a responsibility that required long 
hours of attention, yet left him time to enjoy the many 
parties and dances and to keep up a whirl of social activity. 

Early in 1846, Gleason left Honolulu and sailed for 
California to become the agent of John Paty & Company 
in Monterey and later an independent and very successful 
businessman. His duties often took him to San Francisco, 
but Monterey became his home and here he remained the 
rest of his life. Here also he met a delightful young 
woman, Caterina Watson, of Spanish-American blood, 
who, at the age of fifteen, became his wife. They were 
married on October 7, 1849, "at three o'clock in the 
morning," at a party given by the bride's family. Like 
other California families of that time, they reared a large 

This was the time of the gold rush to California, 
and speculation was everywhere. Gleason became an 
independent merchant and did extremely well. One day, 
for example, he bought 200 barrels of flour at $20 apiece 
and sold them the next day for $50 each. On this 
transaction Gleason wrote that he expected to net between 
$4,000 and $5,000. Curious and restless, he took a fling in 
the mines, but once was enough! He advised his brothers 
in Massachusetts that, if they wished to gamble, they 
should know that the mines were highly speculative and 
dangerous to one's health. It was a risk that was only 
for experts. 

These Gleason letters are interesting and informative and 
give a vivid picture of life in the province. The book is well 
edited and printed — a splendid addition to any collection 
of Californiana. 

John Muir and His Legacy: The American 
Conservation Movement. 

By Stephen Fox. (Boston: Little Brown and Company, 
1 98 1. 436 PP-)- 

Reviewed by Lawrence B. Lee, Professor of History, San Jose 
State University, author of Reclaiming the American 
West (1980). 

This book is a welcome addition to the growing library 
of American conservation titles. The volume is most 
attractive in its format, organization and perceptive 


Book Reviews 

interpretation. Equally appealing is its literary style, 
vintage photographs and appearance, reflecting the fine 
artistry of the publishing craft. The author, a professional 
historian, began writing a new history of the conservation 
movement that would unify the subject, encompassing the 
insights of the utilitarian and preservationist traditions 
with the more recent environmental movement. Then, in 
midcoursc, the remaining collection of Muir manuscripts 
and papers was opened to scholars. The book Stephen Fox 
had intended to write became three books with a common 
theme running throughout. The first part offers the reader 
a scholarly biography, from a new viewpoint, of the 
"founder" of the conservation movement. The second 
presents a chronological portrayal of the varying fortunes 
of the private conservation associations, their origins, 
leadership and achievements. They include the Audubon 
Society, California's own Sierra Club, the Wilderness 
Society, the Izaak Walton League and the National Wildlife 
Federation. The conclusion is an analysis of the motives 
and modus operandi of the "radical amateurs", the author 
believes have led the campaigns, in the John Muir 
tradition, for the protection of natural resources, wild life 
and wilderness. 

John Muir provides the unifying theme of the study. In a 
semantic aside, Fox discloses that the true meaning of 
conservation is preservation and thus Muir is elevated 
above Gifford Pinchot as the guiding light of conservation. 
Muir represented the amateur, intent upon preserving 
forests and wildlife. Pinchot, the professional forester, 
interpreted the term to mean controlled use of natural 
resources which was further corrupted by governmental 
departments dedicated to the commodity theory of natural 
resource use. The author does not attempt to include their 
conservation achievements as in timber and range 
management, soil conservation, water power and river 
basin development, etc. Muir is also pictured as an 
ecologist with a reverence for life attributable to his 
wilderness wanderings and Transcendentalist borrowings 
from Emerson and Thoreau. "Lord Man" to whom was 
given mastery over the inhabitants of the earth and sea 
came to be viewed as the last "endangered species" from 
the vantage point of today's ecological imperative. John 
Muir was at one with Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson in 

a pantheistic concern for all forms of life and the sustaining 
environment of Planet Earth. 

The reader is able to wend his way through the author's 
complex narrative of resource and environmental 
protection/preservation by heeding Fox's signposts which 
arc the variations upon the theme of the "amateur radical." 
Thus John Muir's personality contradictions (people vs. 
nature) manifested themselves in the leadership he gave to 
the Sierra Club's Yosemite Park and Hetch Hetchy 
campaigns for preservation. Paradoxes abound as the 
defeat of Hetch-Hctchy was matched by passage of the 
National Park Act (191 6) sponsored by J. Horace 
McFarland of the American Civic Association. During the 
1920s and 1930s the arms manufacturers sponsored the 
American Game Protection Agency (today's National 
Wildlife Federation), which worked closely with William 
Hornaday's Permanent Wild Life Protection Fund, the 
Izaak Walton League and Will Dilg and "Ding" Darling's 
Biological Survey. They secured legislation creating 
numerous federal wild life refuges and the establishment of 
the Fish and Wildlife Service. After World War II the 
"insider" social and business connections of the amateurs 
with administrators and Congressmen was no longer 
effective. The broad-gauged publicity campaigns were 
launched by the emergent and activist Sierra Club, the 
Wilderness Society and allies led by David Brower and 
Howard Zahneiser to block the desecration of dams at 
Dinosaur in 1956 and Grand Canyon in 1968. A Council of 
Conservationists linkage of the private environmental 
associations helped muster popular support for passage of 
the Wilderness Act of 1964. Bernard DeVotO was the most 
influential free lance writer to champion the wilderness 
cause. The author also inserts biographical sketches of 
other free lance conservationists who supplemented the 
activities of the societies: John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Joseph 
Wood Krutch, Charles Lindberg, William O. Douglas and 
Aldo Leopold. 

Wilderness preservation gave way to 
protection in the 1960s. The focus shifted from preserving 
non-human aspects of the environment to saving man 
himself from pollution. Scientists led the way m alerting 
the public. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) awakened 
mass concern and Barry Commoner and Paul l.hrlich, 


California History 

incidentally all biologists, pointed out new dimensions of 
environmental degradation. Aldo Leopold's Sand Comity 
Almanac became the testament for the new gospel of 
ecology . 

The reader is familiar with recent environmental history 
which has featured the enormous growth of the 
environmental societies. The environmental movement 
also enlisted vast numbers from the disparate expressions 
of the youth revolt in the 1960s. Ralph Nader's consumer 
movement was enormously supportive. The Movement 
also found a new means to protect the environment 
through litigation. The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund 
was but one of several private associations founded to 
monitor private enterprise and governmental bureaus' 
conformity to the standards of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1970. 

Not so well understood has been the important force of 
the "radical amateurs" in the conservation movement. 
Operating from outside the government, private 
enterprise and even the private societies, at times, have 
forced change in all three institutions. Hunters and 
"birders" became preservers. Wilderness aficionados (Muir, 
Leopold, and Robert Marshall) wanted all to experience 
wildness. An anti-modernist mood has been reflected in 
the environmental movement as well as a pantheistic 
appreciation of the soul force permeating the whole biotic 
community including man. 

Karok Myths. 

By A. L. Kroeber and E. W. Gifford, edited by Grace 
Buzaljko, foreword by Theodora Kroeber, folkloristic 
commentary by Alan Dundes, and linguistic index by 
William Bright. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 
1980. xlix, 380 pp. $25.00). 

December's Child; a Book of Chumash Oral 


Collected by J. P. Harrington, edited, with an analysis by 
Thomas C. Blackburn. (Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1975). xxii, 359 pp. $5.95, paper). 

Legends of the Yosemite Miwok. 

Compiled by Frank LaPena and Craig D. Bates, illustrated 
by Harry Fonseca. (Yosemite National Park: Yosemite 
Natural History Association, 1981. 56 pp. $24.95). 
The Way We Lived; California Indian 
Reminiscences, Stories and Songs. 

Edited with a commentary by Malcolm Margolin. 
(Berkeley: Heyday Books, 198 1. 209 pp. $12.95). 

The Shoshoni Indians of Inyo County, California; 
The Kerr Manuscript. 

Edited, annotated, and with introductory preface by 
Charles N. Irwin. (Socorro, New Mexico: Ballena 
Press/Eastern California Museum Cooperative 
Publication, 1980. xvii, 92 pp. $6.95). 

Kashaya Porno Plants. 

By Jennie Goodrich, Claudia Lawson, Vana Parrish 
Lawson. (Los Angeles: American Indian Studies Center, 
University of California, 1980. vi, 171 pp. $8.95). 

The Natural World of the California Indians. 

By Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. Elsasser. (Berkeley: 
Univeristy of California Press, 1980. 271 pp. $12.95.). 

Genocide and Vendetta; the Round Valley Wars of 
Northern California. 

By Lynwood Carranco and Estle Beard. (Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. x, 403 pp. $19.95). 

Lo, the Poor Indian; a Saga of the Suisun Indians 
of California. 

By Ethel Matson Read. (Fresno: Panorama West, 1980. 
xii, 577 pp. $18.00.). 

Reviewed by Charles E. Roberts, Associate Professor of Native 
American History at California State University, Sacramento. 

By the end of the nineteenth century, California Indians 
had been overwhelmed. From a population estimated by 
Sherburne Cook at 310,000 in 1769, their numbers had 
dwindled to barely 20,000. Given the rapidity of this 


California Indians catching grasshoppers as seen in Hutchings' 
California Magazine, c. 1862. 

annihilation, especially in the decade after the gold rush, 
it is not surprising that by the time professional 
ethnographers came to the study of Californa Indians they 
could find only remnants of shattered cultures and obtain 
testimony from witnesses whose memories had been 
wrenched by the violence of the recent past and whose 
knowledge had been muted by mixed marriages and 
acculturation. Thus, such individuals as A. L. Kroeber, 
who came west in 1900 to assume a position at the 
California Academy of Sciences and who would soon join 
the newly created department of anthropology at the 
University of California, perceived their task as one of 
salvaging the material culture of California Indians and 
recording what they saw as a rapidly diminishing body of 
legends, stories, folktales, songs and languages. 

Shortly after Kroeber arrived in San Francisco, he went 
north and began field work among the Yuroks of the 
lower Klamath River. In the summer of 1902 he went 

upstream to visit the Karoks, a people whose isolation had 
allowed them to withstand the sudden burst of miners that 
had poured into their country in the early 1850s. Over the 
next two decades he immersed himself in the ways of these 
people. Sixteen years after his death, Yurok Myths was 
published; this was followed in 1908 by Karok Myths. Both 
confirm his dedication to research and his affection for the 
Indian people whom he had studied. To add to its richness, 
Karok Myths also contains some 160 stories collected by E. 
W. Gifford, who joined Kroeber as a colleague first at the 
Academy of Sciences and later at the University of 
California. Gifford, whose field work among the Karoks 
was conducted in the years 1939 to 1942, recorded many of 
the same tales obtained by Kroeber and on occasion used 
the same consultants. Thus, the book provides an 
opportunity to compare texts recorded over a forty year 
interval for subtle changes induced by acculturation. 
Collectively, the stories set forth a way of life adapted to 
the riverine world of the Klamath and Salmon Rivers and 
introduce a universe containing such powerful forces as the 
creator god, Hakananpmanan, whose constantly flowing 
tears created the Upriver Ocean (Klamath Lake), and 
Coyote, whose antics both delight and profoundy disturb. 
Theodora Kroeber describes her husband's association 
with the Karok, and Alan Dundcs places the stories in their 
cultural context. 

Shortly after Kroeber began his work in California, 
J. R Harrington began his own remarkable but eccentric 
career collecting information on California Indians. In her 
memoir of Harrington, Encounter with an Angry God, 
published in 1976 by the Malki Press, Carobeth Laird has 
caught the urgency he brought to his work: "The vessel of 
the old culture had broken, and its precious contents were 
spilling out and evaporating before our very eyes. 
Harrington, like a man dying of thirst, lapped at every 
random trickle." Over the years he accumulated a 
tremendous mass of information on virtually every tribe 111 
California, but given his penchant for privacy he refused to 
give it shape and seldom succumbed to the rewards of 
publication (even though his bibliography contains some 
100 items). He was most fascinated by the Chumash of the 
Santa Barbara region, beginning his field work there in 
191 2 and eventually collecting some sixty boxes of notes. 


California History 

now deposited cither at the Smithsonian Institution or on 
loan to the University of California, Berkeley. 

To his credit Thomas C. Blackburn has penetrated 
Harrington's notes and has arranged m myths, folktales, 
and stories by the Chumash as December's Child. According 
to them, a child born in December, when the sun's 
brilliance began to revive, was like "a baby in an ecstatic 
condition." But this baby must soon leave this condition, 
assume a man's role, and move into the action of life. The 
Chumash believed that the cosmos consisted of three parts: 
an upper world belonging to the Sky People; the world's 
surface which was suspended from the sky by ropes and 
upon which lived human beings and animals; and an 
underworld inhabited by monsters that frequently climbed 
onto the world's surface. For the Chumash life was 
capricious, and the more one was separated from the center 
the more dangerous it became. Such a world could be 
made secure only by hard work and attention to ritual. In 
his analysis, Blackburn suggests that these stories, set in a 
timeless past and concerning the actions of mythological 
beings, can help us to understand Chumash culture; that 
the behavior, beliefs, fears and material possessions of the 
First People are projections of the Chumash world itself. 
The title of the book is a tribute to these people, who 
indeed had earned their right to join the Sun and move out 
into the warmth of the world. 

Another region of California overrun by miners in the 
early 1850s was the Yosemite Valley. Survivors retreated 
across the mountains into the Owens Valley or were taken 
to reservations on the floor of the San Joaquin. Later they 
trickled back into the Yosemite, eventually finding work 
with the park service or the Curry Company. Frank 
LaPena, director of Native American Studies at California 
State University, Sacramento, and a member of the Wintu 
tribe, and Craig Bates, assistant curator of the Yosemite 
Collections at Yosemite National Park, have brought 
together The Legends of the Yosemite Miwok. With the 
exception of a brief introduction by LaPena and the 
exquisitely rendered paintings of Harry Fonseca, a noted 
Maidu painter now living in Albuquerque, they have 
chosen to let these legends find their own way into the 
reader's imagination. These stories possess a tremendous 
sense of place; the characters who are contained in these 

tales have implanted themselves upon the Valley's form. El 
Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, the Merced River, 
have all been given presence and made palpable. For the 
Miwok good and evil are inextricably mixed, and one 
must learn to cope with the evil that lies within and about 
us. When Yel'-lo-kin, the man-eating giant who resides in 
the sky was finally killed by Eagle, his feathers were taken 
by Coyote down to the earth and transformed into trees 
and plants. Human beings were later created out of his 
feathers. In another tale, two boys have been orphaned. To 
survive they must kill and eat birds. After attaching 
feathers to their arms, they are able to fly through the 
north hole of the sky. Changed into Thunder, they return 
each year to the Valley, bringing rain and ensuring 
survival. This is a beautiful book and is well worth the 

Some years ago Malcolm Margolin set out to study the 
entire spectrum of California Indian literature, but soon 
realized that it was an impossible chore. Confronting the 
diversity inherent in over 120 languages and the large 
number of accumulated texts, he has taken instead a 
personal approach in selecting the eighty reminiscences, 
stories, and songs that comprise The Way We Lived. He has 
made his selection on the basis of "what seemed to jump 
out of the mass of collected materials, suddenly 
illuminating some aspect of native life, or presenting me 
with something that I found beautiful, tragic, terribly 
interesting, or simply funny." As he suggests, these are 
items that made him feel what it was like, at least for a 
moment, to be a woman shaman dancing for power, an 
old man looking at a pine tree he could no longer climb, an 
old woman who knew she was the last of her tribe, or a 
witness to the Stone and Kelsey massacre of the Porno at 
Clear Lake in 1849. These stories are less a study of place 
than an evocation of mood. We share his need to 
comprehend the way it once was before the coming of 
whites and his sadness for the losses suffered both by the 
natives of California and the land itself. 

In 1936 the Works Progress Administration conducted a 
survey of Owens Valley Paiute myths, customs and 
vocabulary under the direction of F. S. Hulse and F. J. 
Essene. One of the local residents they hired was Mark 
Kerr. Kerr was born in Ireland in 1883, emigrated to the 


Book Reviews 

United States as a youth, and moved to Inyo County 
shortly after the first world war. Already possessing an 
interest in botany, he soon developed a fascination for the 
local Indians as well. From 1931 to 1934 he was the curator 
of the Eastern California Museum at Independence. As an 
offshoot of the WPA project, Kerr and Esther Checo, a 
Shoshoni resident of Darwin, collected data on the 
Shoshoni of southern Inyo County, with most of their 
information being provided by Coso Shoshoni 
consultants. After this work was completed, Kerr 
deposited a manuscript in the museum that seems to have 
been neglected until 1977, when Charles Irwin, the present 
director of the museum, discovered it. Supplying editorial 
comments and annotations based upon his own field work, 
Irwin had it published in 1980 as The Shoshoni Indians of 
Inyo County: The Kerr Manuscript . There is much of value 
in this account of the Shoshoni, including descriptions of 
warfare with the Paiutes and of attempts by federal troops 
to force them upon the reservation at Fort Tejon, but the 
most valuable contributions concern the collection and 
utilization of plants by the Shoshoni. We are better able to 
understand their adaptations to a sometimes hostile 

Our knowledge of plant usage by California Indians is 
greatly enlarged by Kashaya Porno Plants. Jennie Goodrich, 
Claudia Lawson, and Vana Parrish Lawson began their 
research as part of a grant awarded by the National 
Endowment for the Humanities to Dr. Shirley Silver of 
the department of anthropology at Sonoma State College 
in 1974. The Kashaya are now located on the Stewart's 
Point rancheria in Mendocino County, but their original 
lands embraced much of the territory in and around Fort 
Bragg. This area contains a variety of plant communities, 
ranging from the coastal strand to dense redwood forests 
in the interior. The authors' purpose was to develop a list 
of all the plants used by the Kashaya, with each listing 
giving the plant's Porno and scientific name and describing 
its appearance and characteristics, how and when it was 
collected, and how it was prepared. For some of these 
plants information about their ceremonial use is also 
provided. Such nonplant species as mosses, seaweed, and 
mushrooms are classified in appendixes. Most of the data 
were provided by three Porno women, Mrs. Sidney 

Parrish, Mrs. Essie Parrish, and Mrs. Susie Gomes, and 
was supplemented by the linguistic studies of Dr. Robert 
Oswalt conducted in the late 1950s and ealry 1960s. This 
book clearly indicates that the Kashaya possessed a truly 
sophisticated taxonomy, and made a closer discrimination 
among plants than does the modern scientific classification. 

The late Robert F. Heizer, distinguished professor 
emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, 
Berkeley, and Albert B. Elsasser, an associate research 
anthropologist at the Lowie Museum, have summarized 
the present state of ethnographical knowledge of California 
Indians in The Natural World of the California Indians. The 
influence of A. L. Kroeber and his generation of 
researchers is evident throughout. What developed in 
California were six major cultural areas, yet in each there 
were local adaptations based upon topography, drainage 
systems, and soil conditions. The authors, in describing 
the rich diversity of California lifeways, emphasize what 
they call the "creative stewardship" of the native 
population. They give a great deal of attention to the 
Indians' collection and utilization of plants, animals, and 
fish; they examine the foods available and demonstrate 
how these successfully met dietary needs. Having a close 
understanding of the natural world, the California Indians 
possessed a relatively secure standard of living and did 
minimal damage to the environment. An extreme localism 
developed from these ecological forces: California Indians 
seldom left an orbit that revolved around the villages in 
which they were born. The authors also give an outline of 
California's pre-history from roughtly 10,000 years ago to 
the coming of the Spanish, and a final chapter is devoted to 
the historic period. This latter chapter is the most 
disappointing, since it focuses almost exclusively upon the 
years between 1769 and 1852, by which time the world of 
the California Indians was in utmost disarray. The modem 
period is dismissed in less than a page and a half. More 
could be written about the long range impact of mining, 
lumbering, and settlement upon the environment and 
adjustments made by the Indians. Consideration might 
also be given to more recent changes induced by the 
construction of nuclear power projects. Nonetheless, tins 
book is a valuable introduction to the ways of California 
Indians before the arrival of white men. 


California History 

The impact of American penetration and settlement of 
the Yolla Bolly country lying in the drainage systems of 
the Eel and Mad Rivers and the southern fork of the 
Trinity is the subject ofGenocide and Vendetta by Lynwood 
Carranco and Estle Beard. The authors have organized 
their book into two sections. The first is an examination of 
the displacement and near annihilation of the Yuki of 
Round Valley and other tribes who inhabited the region. 
Based upon extensive research in local newspapers and 
federal and state documents, this section clearly reveals the 
vicious actions of American settlers as they moved into the 
area during the 1 850s and proceeded to engage in genocide. 
The word is entirely appropriate. The Yuki, who 
numbered approximately 6,880 at the time of contact, 
dwindled to barely 300 by 1864; the Huchnom, with an 
initial population of 2,100, were reduced to 79 by the time 
of the 1870 census. The federal government attempted to 
protect the Indians by establishing Round Valley as a 
reservation, but it merely served as a holding area in which 
the venal sought candidates for enslavement and vigilantes 
found easy victims. Officials of the Indian service, 
including Thomas J. Henley, the second superintendent of 
Indian affairs for California, found it expedient to 
participate in the killing. The second section is a study of 
the Asbill and White families, who settled in Round Valley 
in the 1850s and proceeded to dominate the region. George 
White, who controlled some 35,000 acres and became 
known as the King of Round Valley, intimidated potential 
settlers and occasionally resorted to murder. His empire 
fell apart in a series of sensational murder trials in the 
1 890s, when several of his henchmen were tried and 
convicted for the murder of one of his former associates. 
The authors include a 21-page appendix tracing the history 
of Round Valley reservation to 1940, which merely whets 
one's desire to know more about the impact of settlement 
and federal policies upon the Yuki and the other tribesmen 
relocated on the reservation once the wars were over. 

The final book under review, Lo, the Poor Indians, is 
what the author, Ethel Matson Read, describes as a 
documentary novel. She covers the seventy-five years 
between the movement of the Spanish across the 
Carquinez Straits into Napa and Sonoma counties and the 
conclusion of the Modoc War in 1873. Her pages are 

crammed with such noted persons as Mariano Vallejo, 
Jcdediah Smith, John Sutter, John Bidwell, Joaquin 
Murieta, Samuel Jarboe, and Captain Jack. She focuses 
upon the activities of Chief Solano of the Suisun and his 
descendants and places them imaginatively at every 
significant event of these years. The author has an 
anti-Spanish bias and ascribes an unlikely sense of 
feminism to her Indian women. She includes a number of 
maps and illustrations and quotes extensively from 
historical sources. She often pays attention to certain 
aspects of Indian culture or history that is overlooked by 
conventional sources. She describes, for example, the great 
meteorite shower of November, 1833, but places it in the 
context of the malaria epidemic that devastated the tribes 
of the Sacramento and San Joaquin the previous summer. 
Both the shower and the epidemic are fundamental to the 
memory of contemporary California Indians. 
Nonetheless, as a work of fiction the scenario it establishes 
is hardly plausible and, as a work of history, it is episodic 
and superficial. 

The illustration is from the CHS Library. 


California Check List 

By Bruce L.Johnson, Library Director 

The California Check List provides notice 
of publication of books, pamphlets, and 
monographs pertaining to the history of 
California. Readers knowing of recent 
publications, including reprints or revised 
editions, which need additional publicity 
are requested to send the following 
bibliographical information to the 
compiler of this list: Author, title, 
location and name of publisher, date of 
publication, price, and address where item 
can be purchased if not carried at general 

Beard, Franklin (ed.). Charles Hopper and 
the Pilgrims of the Pacific: An 1841 
California Pioneer, His Narrative and 
Other Documents. La Grange, California: 
Southern Mines Press, 198 1 . $60.00 
Order from: Franklin Beard; 3508 
Wycliffc Drive; Modesto, CA 95355. 
Hopper was a member of the 
Bartleson-Bidwell Party of 184 1, the first 
wagon train to reach California. In 1847 
he lead a similar party from the Midwest 
to California; in his later years Hopper 
settled in Napa County. This book is a 
collection of original source material, 
including an 1871 interview with Hopper, 
most of which is not readily available 

Brand Book No. 16. Los Angeles: The 
Westerners, Los Angeles Corral, 1982. 
$22.50 (members of the Corral), $27.50 
(non-members). Order from: 
Westerners Brand Book; POB 230; 
Glendale, CA 91209. 
This anthology of eleven articles, plus "A 
Color Portfolio of Andy Dagosta's Oil 
Paintings," is another outstanding 
contribution to this fine series. The 
articles are generally well-researched, and 
(as usual) are quite diverse, including 
Jayne Bernard's "Sunbathing in Southern 
California," and "The Indian and General 
Scott," by Iron Eyes Cody. Everett and 
Anna Marie Hagcr have provided an 
excellent index. 

California Institute of Public Affairs. 
Academic Research and Public Service 
Centers in California: A Guide. 
Claremont, California: California 
Institute of Public Affairs, 1982. $18.50. 
Order from: The Publisher; POB 10; 
Claremont, CA 9171 1. 
Another volume in the California 
Information Guides Series, this useful 
publication is a descriptive directory of 
research and public service centers, 
institutes, and similar programs located at 
public and independent colleges and 
universities in California. The centers are 
listed by campus, and indexed by name, 
key words, and subjects. Full addresses 
and telephone numbers are given, and 
purposes, activities, publications, and 
services are briefly described. 

California Institute of Public Affairs. 

California Water Resources Directory. 

Claremont, California: California 

Institute of Public Affairs, 1982. $20.00. 

Order from: The Publisher; POB 10; 

Claremont, CA 91 711. 
Edited by Elizabeth G. Reifsnider, this 
publication is subtitled: "A Guide to 
Organizations and Information 
Resources." It is the first comprehensive 
guide to the maze of organizations 
concerned with the important and always 
controversial field of water resources in 
California, and describes nearly a 
thousand governmental and private 
organizations that are concerned with 
water policy, development, supply, and 
conservation, as well as the economic, 
energy, and environmental protection 
aspects of water resources. 

Carpenter, Virginia L. The Ranchos of Don 
Pacifico Ontiveros. Pullerton, California: 
Friis-Pioneer Press, 1982. $17.45. 
Order from: The Author; 204 N. 
Princeton Avenue; Fullerton. CA 
9263 1 . 
Don Pacifico Ontiveros was the first 
owner of the land on which Anaheim. 
Fullerton, Brea, and Placenti.i now stand. 
By focusing on one family, the author has 
attempted "to give a picture of life 111 






those early California days," from the 
grant to Don Pacifico of the San Juan 
Cajon dc Santa Ana rancho in Orange 
County in 1837, to the Tepusquet rancho 
in Santa Maria Valley, to which he moved 
in 1857. The book includes genealogical 
charts prepared by Erlinda Ontiveros. 

Dennis, Harry. Water & Power: The 
Peripheral Canal and Its Alternatives. San 
Francisco: Friends of the Earth, 1981. 
The overwhelming defeat of the 
Peripheral Canal proposition by 
California voters did not signal an end to 
the issue; it was only the first stage in a 
continuing battle to divert Northern 
California water supplies to satisfy a 
supposed need for increased supplies in 
the South. This impressively documented 
work is as important now as before June 
1982, because of the alternatives it 
provides to the inevitable question, "If 
not the Peripheral Canal, then what?" 

Dillon, Richard. Delta Country. Novato: 
Presidio Press, 1982. $20.00. Order 
from: The Publisher; 3 1 Pamaron Way; 
Novato, CA 94947. 
Containing a remarkable series of fifty 
photographs by Steve Simmons, and a 
narrative by the respected and highly 
prolific California historian, Richard 
Dillon, Delta Country is a tribute to that 
low-lying triangle by which California's 
Central Valley rivers seek the sea. 
Beginning with an historical overview, 
Dillon comments also on the modern 
Delta and its uncertain future, this 
"bucolic land of peace . . . and tranquil 
place of ease largely unsullied [at least 
until now] by civilization. . . ." 

Edwards, Don. Making the Most of 
Sonoma: A California Guide. Novato: 
Presidio Press, 1982. $8.95. 
This book is one of a series of guidebooks 
published by the Presidio Press, but it 
seems much more than yet one more 
guide for tourists. Edwards combines 
geography, history, and the folklore of 

Sonoma County into a detailed and 
well-written survey of the area, which 
contains also a generous supply of 
practical tips and useful information. 

Fabry, Joseph. Swing Shift: Building the 

Liberty Ships. San Francisco: 

Strawberry Pull Press, 1982. $7.95. 

Order from: The Publisher; 1961 Pine 

Street; Martinez, CA 94553. 
During World War II, the population of 
Richmond, California grew ten-fold from 
20,000 to 200,000, an increase caused 
mainly by the influx of people engaged in 
the construction of Liberty Ships. Swing 
Shift was an unpublished manuscript for 
forty years, having been written by 
Fabry, an Austrian refugee, during the 
early 1940s. Its lack of hindsight therefore 
places it in a unique position among the 
current spate of books about World War 
II — it conveys in a convincing manner the 
chaos, frustration, and optimism that 
colored war-time America for the first 
two years after Pearl Harbor. 

Harris, David. Dreams Die Hard. New 
York: St. Martin's/Marek, 1982. 

It began at Stanford University in 1961 
and ended tragically in March 1980, when 
Dennis Sweeney allegedly murdered his 
former mentor Allard Lowenstein, 
Congressman from New York. During 
the intervening twenty years in the 
United States, the naive idealism of 
Camelot was replaced with cynical 
realism, and both Lowenstein and 
Sweeney played their respective roles in 
that change. Although author David 
Harris handles the political intricacies of 
his story better than the personal, his 
biography will form an important chapter 
in documenting the unravelling of the 

Howard-Jones, Marje. Seekers of the 
Spring: A History of Carlsbad. Carlsbad: 
Friends of the Carlsbad Library, 1982. 
$25 (cloth); $8.50 (paper). The 
Publisher; 1250 Elm Street; Carlsbad, 
CA 92008. 

Seekers of the Spring, an extensive revision 
of an earlier edition, chronicles the trials 
and triumphs of the seekers who came to 
Carlsbad — from Franciscan friars to 
modern entrepreneurs, from the 
establishment of Rancho Agua Hedionda 
in the mid-nineteenth century and the 
founding of Carlsbad in the 1880s, 
through the community's growing pains, 
the development of agriculture and 
tourism, and its incorporation in 1952. 

Kahrl, William L. Water and Power: The 
Conflict over Los Angeles' Water Supply in 
the Owens Valley. Berkeley: University 
of California Press, 1982. $24.95. 
William Kahrl has told the real story 
behind the motion picture Chinatown 
— the history of Los Angeles's seizure of 
water of the Owens Valley. Water and 
Power is the most complete available 
account of this conflict from its origins to 
the current controversy over the 
destruction of Mono Lake. Kahrl's book 
is most certainly essential reading for 
anyone interested in the environment or 
the politics of California water. 

Low, Victor. The Unimpressible Race: A 
Century of Educatiotial Struggle by the 
Chinese in San Francisco. San Francisco: 
East/West Publishing Company, 1982. 
$12.95 (cloth); $7.50 (paper). Order 
from: The Publisher; 838 Grant 
Avenue, Suite 307; San Francisco, CA 
Although the concept of bilingual 
education is under attack both from 
within and without more today than ever 
before, Victor Low chronicles 100 years 
of the ways in which Chinese Americans 
successfully fought for their right to be 
educated in the public schools, and for the 
recognition that all children who speak 
little or no English have basic rights that 
must be protected and language skills that 
must be cultivated. Low's book has been 
favorably compared with Charles 
Wollenberg's ground-breaking All 
Deliberate Speed: Segregation and Exclusion 
in California Schools, 1855-^75. 


Check List 

Perry, John. Jack London: An American 

Myth. Chicago: Nelson-Hall 

Publishers, 1981. $21.95 (cloth); $10.95 

In his later years Jack London, who may 
have been, as some critics maintain, one 
of the most prolific burnt-out authors in 
history, never recaptured the success of 
The Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf, 
both published before he was 
twenty-eight. In this attempted 
devaluation of London as an author, John 
Perry traces London's life from his 
controversial paternity through his San 
Francisco childhood, youthful adventures 
on the waterfront, sporadic education, 
early fame and financial success writing 
adventure stories, first and second 
marriages, extravagant projects, 
alcoholism and failing health to his death 
at age forty. 

Rife, Joanne. Bicycling Country Roads. 
Santa Cruz: Western Tanager Press, 
1982. Order from: The Publisher; 1 1 1 1 
Pacific Avenue; Santa Cruz, CA 95060. 
This handy paperback was designed to 
open new vistas on the scenic roads of 
central California for both small-town 
residents and big-city cyclists who want 
to escape the urban hustle. The fifty 
biking tours ot this fascinating and 
beautiful region arc grouped so that those 
people from out of the area can plan a 
weekend, or a week, of bicycling using a 
local base of operations. If the rides are 
too long, shortcuts arc noted. In addition 
to specific route information, Bicycling 
Country Roads also provides sightseeing 
information, historical lore and personal 

Uchida, Yoshiko. Desert Exile: The 
Uprooting of a Japanese American Family. 
Seattle: University of Washington 
Press, 1982. $12.95. 
The relocation during World War II of 
Americans of Japanese ancestry was 
justified primarily by the belief that the 
United States was "better safe than 
sorry." Yoshiko Uchida, a student at the 
University of California, was swept up in 

the hysteria and was sent to Topaz, south 
of Salt Lake City. Desert Exile is an 
intimate, moving, and inspirational 
account of her imprisonment. 

Vojir, Dan. The Sunny Side of Castro 
Street. San Francisco: Strawberry Hill 
Press, 1982. $6.95. Order from: The 
Publisher; 1961 Pine Street; Martinez, 

CA 94553- 

The Sunny Side of Castro Street is a very 
personal memoir, a "diary of sorts," of 
life in a gay ghetto. Vojir came to San 
Francisco in the mid-1970s, and carefully 
documented his daily experiences. The 
individual events described are not 
particularly remarkable (and they have 
undoubtedly been duplicated and 
improved upon by countless others), but 
throughout the book the author's essential 
humanness forms the essence of his story, 
and consequently The Sunny Side of Castro 
Street is one of the best available books for 
demystifying what it means to be gay in 
San Francisco. 

Other Books Noted 

Acuna, Rodolfo. Occupied America: A 
History ofChicanos. New York: Harper 
& Row, 1 98 1 . 

Applcyard, Donald. Liveable Streets. 
Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1 98 1. 

Balderrama, Francisco E. In Defense of La 
Raza: The Los Angeles Mexican 
Consulate and Mexican Community, 
iQ2g-igj6. Tucson: University of 
Arizona Press, 1982. 

Bayless, Dorothy Martin. Index to 
Thompson and West's i8jg History of 
Sutter County, California. Sacramento: 
Dorothy Martin Bayless, 1981. Order 
from: The Author; 6531 Driftwood 
Street; Sacramento, CA 95831. 

. Rest in Peace: Early Records from 

Cemeteries in the City and County of 
Sacramento, California. Sacramento: 
Dorothy Martin Bayless, 1982. 

Bean, Walton. California: An Interpretive 
History, 4th edition. New York: 
McCraw-Hill Book Company, 1982. 

The Business Traveler's Survival Guide: Los 
Angeles and Orange County. New York: 
Business Travelers, Inc., 1982. 

Carranco, Lynwood and Estle Beard. 
Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley 
Wars in Northern California. Norman, 
Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1 98 1. 

Chancy, Lindsay. The Hearsts: Family and 
Empire-Thc Later Years. New York: 
Simon and Schuster, 1981. 

Coleberd, Frances. Hidden Country 
Villages of California. San Francisco: 
Chronicle Books, 1982. 

Condit, Ida. A History of Some Early 
Families at Oak Glen. Redlands, 
California: Arthur Commercial Press, 

Conley, Bernice Bedford. Dreamers and 
Dwellers, Ontario and Neighbors. 
Ontario, California: Stump Printing 
and Services, 1982. Order from: The 
Author; 5036 Evart Street; Montclair, 
CA 91 763. 

Cooney-Lazaneo, Mary Beth. Plants oj 
Big Basin, Redwoods State Park and the 
Coastal Mountains of Northern California. 
Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press 
Publishing Co., Inc., 1981. Order 
from: The Publisher; 287 West Front 
Street; Missoula, MT 59801. 

Cronkhite, Daniel. Death Valley's Victims: 
A Descriptive Chronology. 184Q-IQ80, 3rd 
edition, revised and enlarged. Morongo 
Valley, California: Sagebrush Press, 

Cross, Harry E. and James A. Sandos, 
Across the Border: Rural Development in 
Mexico and Recent Migration to the I failed 
States. Berkeley: Institute of 
Governmental Studies, 1982. Order 
from: The Publisher; 109 Moses Hall, 
University of California; Berkel 

Crouch, Winston Winford. California 
Government and Politics. Englewood 
Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1981. 

1 '.miel, Clctus E. Bitter Harvest: A History 


California History 

of California Farmworkers, 1870-1941. 

Ithaca, New York: Cornell University 

Press, 198 1 . 
De Young, Karen. Trade and Professional 

Associations in California: A Directory, 

2nd edition. Claremont: California 

Institute of Public Affairs, 1982. 
Dillon, Richard. Fool's Gold: The Decline 

and Fall of Captain John Sutter of 

California. Santa Cruz: Western 

Tanager Press, 1981. Reprint, 1967. 
Fagan, Brian M. California Coastal 

Passages: From San Francisco to Ensenada, 

Mexico. Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1981. 
Fletcher, Colin. The Thousand-Mile 

Summer in Desert and High Sierra. San 

Diego: Howell-North Books, 1982. 

Reprint, 1964. Distributed in the 

United States by Oak Tree 

Foster, Lee. Adventures in California 

Country. Beaverton, Oregon: Beautiful 

America Publishing Co., 1981. 
Gerstel, David U. Paradise, Incorporated: 

Synanon. Novato: Presidio Press, 1982. 
The Golden Ridge: A History of Paradise 

and Beyond. Paradise, California: 

Paradise Fact and Folklore, Inc., 1981. 

Order from: The Publisher; POB 1696; 

Paradise, CA 95969. 
Hayden, Mike. Exploring the North Coast. 

San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. 
Haynes, Irene W. Ghost Wineries of Napa 

Valley: A Photographic Tour of the 19th 

Century. San Francisco: S. Taylor & 

Friends, 1980. 
Helm, Michael. City Country Miners: 

Some Northern California Veins. 

Berkeley: City Miner Books, 1982. 

Order from: The Publisher; POB 176; 

Berkeley, CA 94701. 
Hilton, George W. The Cable Car in 

America, Revised Edition. San Diego: 

Oak Tree Publications, 1982. Order 

from: The Publisher; 1 1 175 Flintkote 

Avenue; San Diego, CA 921 21. 
Hoffer, Eric. Between the Devil and the 

Dragon: Thoughts on the Nature of Man. 

New York: Harper and Row, 1982. 
Illian, Martin. Bay Area Sports and 

Recreation Directory. San Francisco: 

Chronicle Books, 1981. 

Jackson, Ruth A. Combing the Coast, San 
Francisco to Santa Cruz. San Francisco: 
Chronicle Books, 1981. 

Johl, Karen and Jane Lowrie Miller. 
Timeless Treasures: San Diego's Victorian 
Heritage. San Diego: Rand Editions, 
1982. Order from: The Publisher; 
10457-F Roselle Street; San Diego, CA 
92121 . 

Kimball, Virginia. Earthquake Ready. 
Culver City: Peace Press, 1981. Order 
from: The Publisher; 3828 Willat 
Avenue; Culver City, CA 90230. 

Libertore, Karen. The Complete Guide to 
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. 

McAdam, Pat. Arcadia, Where Ranch and 
City Meet. Arcadia: Friends of the 
Arcadia Public Library, 1981. Order 
from: The Publisher; 20 West Duarte 
Road; Arcadia, CA 91006. 

McAdams, Cliff. Death Valley, Past and 
Present: Guide and Reference Book. 
Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing 
Co., 1981. 

McKane, John and Anthony Perles. Inside 
Muni: The Properties and Operations of the 
Municipal Railway of San Francisco. 
Glendale: Interurban Press, 1982. 

Milosz, Czeslaw. Visions from San 
Francisco Bay, Translated by Richard 
Lourie. New York: Farrar, Straus & 
Giroux, 1982. 

Mims, Julie Elizabeth and Kevin Michael 
Mims. Sacramento: A Pictorial History of 
California's Capital. Virginia Beach, 
Virginia: Donning Co., 1981. 

Neider, Charles (ed.). Selected Letters of 
Mark Twain. New York: Harper 8c 
Row, 1982. 

Oak, Henry Lebbeus. A Visit to the 
Missions of Southern California in 
February and March 1874. Highland 
Park, California: Southwest Museum, 

Roberts, Margaret. Pioneer California: 
Tales of Explorers, Indians, and Early 
Settlers. San Luis Obispo: Padre 
Productions, 1982 

Ruiz, David Villar. A Soul in Exile: 

A Chicano Lost in Occupied Land. 
New York: Vantage Press, 1982. 

St. Pierre, Brian and Mary Etta Moses. 
The Flavor of North Beach. San 
Francisco: Chronicle Books. 1981. 

Sanders, Leonard. Sonoma. New York: 
Delacorte Press, 1981. 

Saroyan, Aram. Last Rites: The Death of 
William Saroyan. New York: Morrow, 1982. 

Schwartz, Nancy Lynn and Sheila 

Schwartz. The Hollywood Writers Wars. 
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. 

Tanaka, Michiko. Through Harsh Winters: 
The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman, 
as told to Akemi Kikumura. Novato: 
Chandler and Sharp, 1981. 

Trejos, Charlotte M. Carson: A Pictorial 
History. Norfolk, Virginia: Donning 
Company, 1982. 

Tulare County, California, Marriage 
Records, Index, 1853-1892. Visalia: 
Sequoia Genealogical Society, 1980. 
Order from: The Publisher; POB 3473; 
Visalia, CA 93278. 

Walker, Dorin. Dana Point 

HarborlCapistrano Bay; Home Port for 
Romance. Dana Point, California: 
To-the-Point Press, 1982. Order from: 
The Publisher, Drawer 546; Dana 
Point, CA 92629. 

Warner, Jack Jr. Bijou Dream. New York: 
Crown, 198 1. 

Williams, George III. The Guide to Bodie 
and Eastern Sierra Historic Sites. 
Riverside, California: Tree by the River 
Publishers, 198 1. Order from: The 
Publisher; POB 413; Riverside, CA 

Wolman, Baron. California From the Air: 
The Golden Coast. Mill Valley: 
Squarebooks, 198 1. Aerial photographs 
by Baron Wolman; Text by Richard 
Reinhardt, Michael Goodwin, Tom 
Johnson, and John Berks. Order from: 
The Publisher; POB 1000; Mill Valley, 
CA 94941. 

Young, Andrew H. The Improvers of 
Lafayette. Lafayette, California: 
Lafayette Historical Society, 1981. 
Order from: The Publisher; POB 133; 
Lafayette, CA 94549. 


Coming Through: 
A Wells Fargo Tradition. 

A rare combination of personal effort 
and banking innovation built Wells Fargo 

And Wells Fargo has been helping the 
West grow since 1852. 

Today in California, across the continent 
and around the world, Wells Fargo is still 
coming through. 

Wells Fargo Bank 

CHS Register of Historic California Businesses 

The California Historical Society is pleased to recognize the following California centennial businesses for their support 
of the new Register of Historic California businesses. The Register program seeks to preserve and promote California's 
business and economic history, and to provide special recognition for businesses which have existed in California for 
over one hundred years. 


Chevron USA, Inc., San Francisco 
Foremost-McKesson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph 

Company, San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 


Homestake Mining Company, 
San Francisco 


Barker Bros., Los Angeles 
Guittard Chocolate Company, 

McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 


Butterfield and Butterfield, 

San Francisco 
Gensler-Lee Diamonds, San Francisco 
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, 

San Francisco 
Haas Brothers, San Francisco 
MJB Coffee, San Francisco 

CHS Donors 


Mrs. Alysse W. Allen, San Francisco 
Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr. , 

San Marino 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Banning, 

Mr. and Mrs. Dix Boring, 

San Francisco 
The Broadway Department Stores, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Cannell, 

Chevron USA, Inc., San Francisco 
The S.H. Co well Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. J. Hewes Crispin, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. and Mrs. George Ditz, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Dr. Ludwig A. Emge, Grass Valley 

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Foremost-McKesson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. Joe Gobert, Brisbane 
Mrs. William Grant, Honolulu 
Mr. & Mrs. Ivan B. Hart, Piedmont 
William Randolph Hearst Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Clarence E. Heller, Atherton 
Helen and George High, San Bruno 
Homestake Mining Co., San Francisco 
Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
The James Irvine Foundation, 

San Francisco 
The William G. Irwin Charity 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Elizabeth Bixbyjaneway, Santa Barbara 
Mr. John E. Keller, Lafayette 
Dr. Oscar Lemer, San Francisco 

Mr. Henry F. Lippitt, II, Los Angeles 
Livingston Bros., San Francisco 
Mrs. Maurice Machris, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Virginia Morell, Menlo Park 
Dan Murphy Foundation, Los Angeles 
National Endowment for the Arts 
National Endowment for the 

National Historical Publications and 

Records Commission 
Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Joseph Paul, Ross 
Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
Estate of Hannah E. Praxl, 

San Francisco 
San Francisco Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 



Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
State Office of Historic Preservation, 

Mr. and Mrs. Norman B. Terry, II, 

Los Angeles 
Ticor, Los Angeles 
Travel Dynamics, Inc., New York 
Union Pacific Foundation, 

New York City 
Mrs. Dorothy Wiles, Redding 


Mrs. M. F. Allende, Belvedere 
Ampex Corporation, Redwood City 
The Annenbcrg Fund, Inc., 

Beverly Hills 
Architectural Resources Group, 

San Francisco 
Atlantic Richfield Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Dr. Joseph A. Baird, Jr., San Francisco 
Florence M. Baker, Portola Valley 
The R. C. Baker Foundation, Orange 
Barker Bros., Los Angeles 
Mrs. James S. Black, Jr., Hillsborough 
The James G. Boswell Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. Walter Braun, Beverly Hills 
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, 

Los Angeles 
Mrs. Ernest A. Bryant, III, 

Laguna Beach 
Estate of Mr. Royal Robert Bush, 

Santa Barbara 
Dr. and Mrs. Richard Call, Pasadena 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buffington 

Carter, Colusa 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Crowley Foundation, San Francisco 
Crowley Maritime Corp., 

San Francisco 
Cunard Line Ltd., New York 
Helen Baker Currie, Portola Valley 
Delta Queen Steamboat Co., Cincinnati 
Delta Steamship Lines, Inc., 

San Francisco 
Mr. Penn DeRoche, Oakland 
Mrs. Lewis T Dobbins, Berkeley 
Mrs. Virginia Woods Fallon, 

Santa Rosa 
Mrs. Joseph C. Fennelly, San Francisco 

Estate of Adrienne S. Fuller, 

Gauger, Sparks, Silva, Inc., 

San Francisco 
Mr. George D. Gavin, San Francisco 
General Electric Company, Campbell 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Gerald Gray, Lafayette 
Guittard Chocolate Co., Burlingame 
Mr. and Mrs. George N. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Dorothea H. Harding, Berkeley 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Hartley, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Heilbron, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Hendricks, 

Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Hendricks, 

San Francisco 
Hilton Hotels Corp., Beverly Hills 
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Holmes, 

Pebble Beach 
Mr. George Hornstein, San Francisco 
Hotchkis Foundation, Los Angeles 
Hyatt on Union Square, San Francisco 
Kawaguchi-Kihara Memorial 

Foundation, Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, 

San Jose 
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest A. Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 
Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation, 

Beverly Hills 
Loomis-Sayles & Co., San Francisco 
Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr., Los Angeles 
McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 
Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. McDevitt, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Mildred McFie, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Edgar N. Meakin, Hillsborough 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Moore, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. David H. Murdock, 

Beverly Hills 
National Trust for Historic Preservation 
Mrs. V Aubrey Neasham, 

Mr. Greg Nelson, Reno, Nevada 
Mr. Harry L. Nickerson, Castro Valley 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogden, Los Angeles 
Mr. and Mrs. David Packard, Los Altos 

Mrs. Edwin Pauley, Beverly Hills 
Mr. Thomas V. Reeve, II, Villa Park 
Dr. and Mrs. John Dowling Relfe, 

San Francisco 
Jane Anne Rey, Tiburon 
Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Simpson III, 

Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 
Harry G. Steele Foundation, 

Newport Beach 
Mr. and Mrs. Hart H. Tantau, 

San Francisco 
Dr. and Mrs. Stanley R. Truman, 

The Waste Family Fund, San Francisco 
Mrs. Warren B. Williamson, Pasadena 


rrwnds of CHS 

Individual Members 

(INI 1 NNIAL — $1000-2491; 

Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr. , 

San Marino 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Banning, Pasadena 
Miss Beda Berg, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. William J. Bcttingen, 

Beverly Hills 
Mr. & Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 
Mr. Robert H. Carpenter, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Henry Cartan, Atherton 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buffington Carter, 

Mr. & Mrs. J. Hcwes Crispin, Santa Barbara 
Mrs. Ralph K. Davies, Woodside 
Mr. & Mrs. George Ditz,Jr., San Francisco 
Mr. O. Dewey Donnell, Sonoma 
Mr. & Mrs. Fred S. Farr, Carmel 
Mr. James R. Galbraith, Beverly Hills 
Mr. & Mrs. George N. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. James R. Harvey, San Francisco 
Mr. Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Warren R. Howell, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. David Huntington, 

Glenbrook, Nevada 
Mrs. Gladys Q. Knapp, Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, San Jose 
Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Allen Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 
Mrs. Western Logan, Oakland 
Mrs. Maurice A. Machris, Los Angeles 
Drs. Knox and Carlotta Mellon, Sacramento 
Mr. & Mrs. James S. Miller, Geyserville 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogden, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Otter, Belvedere 
Mr. & Mrs. David Packard, Los Altos Hills 
Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Pike, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert H. Power, Nut Tree 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. W.J. Shirley, Pasadena 
Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
Mr. & Mrs. Norman B. Terry, II, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Lockwood Tower, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Nick B. Williams, South Laguna 

BENEFACTOR — $500-999 

Mr. & Mrs. Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. 
San Francisco 

Mr. & Mrs. John A. Blume, San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Bridges, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph K. Cannell, Pasadena 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Chinn, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Guy C. Earl, Jr., 

Warner Springs 
Mr. & Mrs. David Fleishhacker, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Harvey Glasser, San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Greene, Los Angeles 
Mr. Alfred Harrison, Berkeley 
Ms. Leslie D. Jaffe, Sausalito 
Mr. & Mrs. LeRoy F. Krusi, Walnut Creek 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas H. May, Oakville 
Ms. Clytie P. Mead, Newport Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence V. Metcalf, 

San Francisco 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Miller, Jr., Pasadena 
Mr. and Mrs. Remi A. Nadeau, San Jose 
Dr. Ynez O'Neill, Los Angeles 
Bryce Rhodes, Santa Cruz 
Mrs. Calvin K. Townsend, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Walter G. Warren, Los Gatos 
Mrs. Paul L. Wattis, San Francisco 
Mrs. Alice Whitson, Willow Creek 
Mrs. Dean Witter, San Francisco 
Mrs. Helen Woodward, Los Angeles 

ASSOCIATE — $250-499 

Edward C. Allred, Los Angeles 
Alice O'Neill Avery, Los Angeles 
Mr. George Hugh Banning, La Jolla 
Mrs. Walter C. Bateman, Jr. , Pasadena 
Mr. James R. Bronkema, San Francisco 
Mrs. Donohoe Carter, Gilroy 
Mr. & Mrs. Sherman Chickering, 

San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Clark, Jr., San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Henry Sutcliffe Coe, San Jose 
Mr. Newton A. Cope, San Francisco 
Mrs. Chester R. F. Cramer, Greenbrae 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Mr. Michael Cullivan, Alameda 
Mr. Burnham Enersen, San Francisco 
Dr. and Mrs. Edward R. Evans, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Devoe Field, 

San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. William R. Fielder, Atherton 
Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker, Jr. , 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Winston R. Fuller, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 

Mr. and Mrs. Peter E. Haas, San Francisco 
Mr. Raymond T Haas, San Rafael 
Mrs. George Fiske Hammond, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Heimbucher, Berkeley 
Mr. Clarence E. Heller, Atherton 
Mrs. Elise Higgins, Mountain View 
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Holmes, Pebble Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Robin Hood, Aptos 
Mr. Preston B. Hotchkis, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Steven Huss, San Carlos 
Mr. & Mrs. George D. Jagels, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. G. F. Jewett, Jr., Ross 
Mrs. F. A. Jostes, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Hamilton Kelly, San Marino 
Mr. Oscar T Lawler, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Lewis McVey, Moraga 
Mrs. Bruce E. Michael, Woodside 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert P. Miller, Jr., Pasadena 
Mr. Robert Folger Miller, Hillsborough 
Mrs. John Mock, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Moore, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mrs. V. Aubrey Neasham, Hillsborough 
Mrs. Charles E. Osthimer. Ill, San Francisco 
Mr. Clair L. Peck, Jr., Los Angeles 
Dr. & Mrs. John Dowling Relfe, 

San Francisco 
Win. Woodward Rhodes, Corona del Mar 
Mrs. Alfred Riccomi, San Francisco 
Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Walter Schilling, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Earl F. Schmidt, Jr., Palo Alto 
W. L. Simmons, Napa 
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Simpson III, Pasadena 
Mr. David P. Smith, Berkeley 
Roger W. Souza, Suisun 
Mrs. Keith Spalding, Pasadena 
Mr. Dudley B. Sparks, Winters 
Mrs. Ellis M. Stephens, Ross 
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Stuart, Camarillo 
William D. Swanson, Oakland 
Mr. & Mrs. Hart H. Tantau, San Francisco 
Waller Taylor II, Los Angeles 
Mrs. A. Teichert, Jr., Sacramento 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Tilton, San Francisco 
Mr. Charles Wollenberg, Berkeley 
Mr. Edward G. Zelinsky, San Francisco 

Corporate Members 

PATRON — $50oo-up 

Atlantic Richfield Co. 
Ticor, Los Angeles 

Los Angeles 


AFFILIATE — $2500-4999 

Fluor Corporation, Irvine 

Times Mirror Foundation, Los Angeles 

CENTENNIAL — $1000-2499 

Bechtel Power Corporation, San Francisco 
Bixby Ranch Company, Los Angeles 
The James G. Boswell Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Crocker Natl. Bank Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Forcmost-McKcsson Foundation Inc., 

San Francisco 
Gilmorc Company, Los Angeles 
Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto 
Hilton Hotels Corp., Beverly Hills 
Matson Navigation, San Francisco 
McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 
Memorex Corp., Santa Clara 
Moore Dry Dock Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Newhall Land & Farming Co., Valencia 
Pacific Lighting Corp., Los Angeles 
Pacific Mutual Life Insurance, 

Newport Beach 
Louis & Flori Petri Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Shaklee Corporation, San Francisco 
Transamerica Corp., San Francisco 
Union Oil Co. of California Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Wells Fargo Foundation, San Francisco 

BENEFACTOR — $500-999 

The Bank of California, San Francisco 
Beaver Insurance Company, San Francisco 
Burnett & Sons, Sacramento 
Chevron, USA, Inc., San Francisco 
Ducommun, Inc., Los Angeles 
Holt Brothers, Stockton 
Industrial Indemnity Co., San Francisco 
International Business Machines, 

San Francisco 
Levi Strauss Foundation, San Francisco 
Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Los Angeles 
Orrick, Herrington, Rowley & Sutcliffe, 

San Francisco 
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Francisco 
The Pacific Lumber Co., San Francisco 
Pope & Talbot, Inc., San Francisco 
Sharlands Investment Corp., Oakland 
Sunset Magazine, Menlo Park 

Sweco, Inc., Los Angeles 

Tubbs Cordage Co., San Francisco 

Union Bank, Sacramento 

U.S. Leasing Corporation, San Francisco 

United Vintners, Inc., San Francisco 

ASSOCIATE — $250-499 

Bankamerica Foundation, San Francisco 
Richard F. Bowen, Co., San Francisco 
John Breuner Company, San Ramon 
California Federal, Los Angeles 
California First Bank, San Francisco 
Cocuzza Lenchner Foundation, 

San Francisco 
H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., San Bruno 
Crowley Maritime Corporation, San 

Deans & Homer, San Francisco 
Del Monte Corp., San Francisco 
Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco 
1st Nationwide Savings, San Francisco 
First Western Savings & Loan Assoc, 

Flax's, San Francisco 
Franklin Savings & Loan Assn., San 

Fritz Companies, Inc., San Francisco 
Hexcel, San Francisco 
The Hibernia Bank, San Francisco 
Hill & Co., San Francisco 
Earle M. Jorgensen Company, Los Angeles 
Joy of California, San Jose 
Kahn & Nippert Company, San Francisco 
KRON-TV, San Francisco 
Lawrence Engineering & Supply Inc., 

Marsh & McLennan, Inc., San Francisco 
Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco 
Nut Tree, Nut Tree 

Pacific Coast Holdings, Inc., San Francisco 
Phoenix Leasing, Inc., Mill Valley 
Plant Contractors, Inc., San Francisco 
Price Waterhouse & Co., Los Angeles 
RJB III Co., Sacramento 
San Francisco Commercial Club, 

San Francisco 
Southern Pacific Company, San Francisco 
Stauffer Chemical Co., San Francisco 
Sutro & Company, Inc., San Francisco 
Syntex Corporation, Inc., Palo Alto 
Transit Casualty Company, Los Angeles 
Woodwards Gardens Veterinary Hospital, 

San Francisco 
Yosemite Park & Curry Company, Yosemite 

Nat'l. Park 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society * 

fall 1982 

California Snapshots 

"Boys, if you must fight, we will do your work at home, "pledge these earnest women 

employees of the Southern Pacific Company during a World War I parade. Women 

filled men 'sjobs in the Southern Pacific shops, learning to "man" machines like 

lathes. California Historical Society, San Francisco 

CO VER: This family of refugees from the midwestem Dust Bowl eagerly awaited 
entry into California at the Yuma border station where Dorothea Lange photo- 
graphed them in 1 935 . California 's large-scale agriculture offered migrants the 
promise oj employment , but only under the harshest oj living and working 
conditions which John Steinbeck documented in his controversial novel, 
The Grapes of Wrath. Dorothea Lange, Oakland Museum 

APR 2 3 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society 

AUG1 8 

NOV 2 7 




Acting Director 


Managing Editor 


Reviews Editor 



Editorial Consultants 
frank l beach 
lowell john bean 
rober1 be< kir 

iris w engstrand 
janet r. fireman 
francis f. guest. o.f.m. 
william o. hendricks 
norris hundley 
w. turrentinejackson 
gary f kurutz 
miguel leon-i'ortilla 
w michael mathes 
doyce b nunis.jr. 
rodman w. i'aul 
david pinera ramfrez 
andrew f. rolle 
davidj weber 
francis j. weber 
david a williams 

Great Expectations — William Swain, J. S. Holliday, 
and The World Rushed In 162 


In the Diggings 168 


The Giants and the Mountain — 

Mining Machines Make a Highway 188 

by dewey and nola mosier 

San Francisco's Fin de Steele Bohemian Renaissance 


Trampling Out the Vineyards — 

Kern County's Ban on The Grapes of Wrath 210 



Sources in Mexico for the 
History of Spanish California 


22 J 

Book Reviews 227 
California Check List 


James J . Rawls 

Great Expectations 

William Swain, J. S. Holliday 
&The World Rushed In 

Not in a generation, not since the appearance of 
Rodman Paul's California Gold (1947) and John 
Caughey 's Gold Is the Cornerstone ( 1948) , not in a very 
long time indeed has a book stirred such interest in 
the California gold rush as has the publication ofJ.S. 
Holliday 's The World Rushed In. Endorsed in pre- 
publication reviews by Kevin Starr, Ray Allen 
Billington, William Hutchinson, and Howard 
Lamar, the book is already in its third printing and 
has been chosen as a selection by the Literary Guild 
and the History Book Club. Simon and Schuster 
have sent the author on a nationwide tour, prompt- 
ing enthusiastic reviews in scores of newspapers and 
magazines, and radio and television interviews. 

Members and friends of the California Historical 
Society have been anticipating publication of The 
World Rushed In since at least 1970 when Jim Holliday 
became the society's Executive Director. Scholars in 
the field looked forward to the book's appearance for 

The author, an instructor of history at Diablo Valley College in 
Pleasant Hill, is the editor of Dan De Qtiille of the Bi$ Bonanza 
( 1980) and co-author with the late Walton Bean of the fourth 
edition of California: An Interpretive History (1983). 

years before that when word was out that "Holliday's 
book" was soon to be finished. George Stewart, for 
instance, cited the book in his bibliography to The 
California Trail in 1962, noting that the volume was 
"in preparation for publication." No one, of course, 
anticipated publication longer than the author him- 
self: Holliday began work on the book in June 1948, 
thirty-two years before the date of publication. 

Holliday's first encounter with the gold rush diary 
of William Swain, the primary source for the book, 
came as an undergraduate at Yale. Later, at Berkeley, 
he used the diary as the basis for his master's thesis, 
"William Swain and the Wolverine Rangers: A Study 
of the California Gold Rush" (1954) and his doctoral 
dissertation, "The California Gold Rush in Myth and 
Reality" ( 1959) . In these earlier versions of the book, 
Holliday first developed his concept of "interpola- 
tion". He wanted to use the Swain diary to tell the 
story of the California gold rush as a total experience, 
not just as one man's account. The standard formula, 
then and now, for editing a gold rush diary was to 
write a brief introduction, supply footnotes identify- 
ing names and places mentioned in the text, and 
include in the notes a few comparative descriptions 





A / 

'MM**,. sJL'. 




* ■/. 

"y ^ £ * - 

y y y** i 


(( )uerleaf) William Swain's leatherbound diary offers a 
remarkably complete recordoj the gold rush experience — 
home, there, and back again. The opening pages read, 
"Journal o) Rout to ( lalafomia from My I Ionic in Youngs- 
town , . comencing April 1 1 , 1 849. " Beinecke Rare 
Hook and Manuscript I ibrary, Yale University 

from journals of other argonauts. Holliday's ambi- 
tion led him to rejeet this standard proeedure and, 
instead, to interpolate within the text passages from 
Other primary sources, sometimes supplementing 
Swains account, sometimes standing in the place of 
Swain's words. "Each interpolation," Holliday 
explains in the Author's Note, "had to come from a 
diarist or letter writer who wrote what Swain himself 
might have seen, experienced or been told." Years of 
searching manuscript and published accounts ulti- 
mately yielded more than 800 textual interpolations. 
Then friends and editors advised Holliday that the 
book had grown far too long; thus began years of 
cutting, selection, and distillation. 

In its final form the book tells the story of William 
Swain's journey from New York to California in 
1849, his experiences in California from November 
1849 to November 1850, and his return home, No- 
vember 1850 to February 1851. Holliday opens the 
book with a prologue briefly surveying early Califor- 
nia history and describing the changes wrought by 
the American conquest and gold discovery in 1848. 
Each of the following thirteen chapters is introduced 
with a discussion of familiar gold rush topics such as 
the unresolved debate over the relative merits of oxen 
and mules, the great overland landmarks such as 
Chimney Rock and Independence Rock, the terrors 
of the Humboldt Sink, and the evolution of mining 
methods, districts, and codes. At the end of most 
chapters is a "Back Home" section containing letters 
from Swain's wife Sabrina and brother George, and 
in an epilogue Holliday offers an interpretation of the 
meaning of the gold rush for California and the 
nation. The bulk of the text consists of Swain's diary 
and letters, interspersed with the interpolations of 
parallel observers. Although Holliday's editorial 
hand is evident on every page, his own narrative and 
interpretive prose occupies less than a third of the 
book's 559 pages. 

As one might expect of a book so long in prepara- 
tion, The World Rushed In is very handsomely 
produced. The design is crisp and pleasing; the illus- 
trations, largely drawn from the J. Goldsborough 
Bruff collection at the Huntington Library, reinforce 
well the verbal descriptions in the text; and the maps, 
drafted by David L. Fuller of California State Uni- 
versity, Northridge, are marvelously clear, reflecting 
the close collaboration of author and cartographer. 
Holliday's documentation is thorough and his biblio- 
graphical essay should serve as a useful guide to the 
vast literature of the gold rush. An appendix contains 
the roster and articles of association of the Wolverine 
Rangers, Swain's overland travelling company. Hol- 
liday here suggests that historians have ignored the 
importance of such organizations, and he calls for 
further research. Whatever deficiency may have 
existed on this score, however, has recently been 
filled by John Phillip Reid's Law for the Elephant: 
Property and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail 
(1980) , a detailed analysis of the overland companies, 
their constitutions, property relationships, liabilities, 
and reasons for dissolution. 


n evaluating The World Rushed In the inevitable 
question arises: How does this book add to our 
understanding of the California gold rush? The edit- 
ing of gold rush diaries and letters is a time-honored 
tradition among California historians, so what is new 


If for no other reason, The World Rushed In is an 
important book because William Swain's diary and 
letters themselves are a remarkably complete record 
of the gold rush experience. Unlike so many other 
accounts, William Swain's story does not end with 
his arrival in California. Through his letters home, 


Everyday life in makeshift mining camps such as Forbes 
Diggings on the Feather River was liberating and unstruc- 
tured by social conventions. Men like Swain, however, 
discovered the greater importance of family, friends, home, 
and traditioti. CHS Fine Arts Collection 

«^^-> q& &,, ... , ., . , , ,J> 

we follow Swain's life in "the diggings," and we 
witness his return trip through Panama back to his 
family in New York. Thus Holliday presents the 
gold rush as a cycle — home, there, and back — not 
just as a singular experience of migration westward. 
Holliday estimates that 90,000 men returned from 
California via Panama in the years 1849 to 185 1, and 
he correctly notes that historians have been generally 
"inattentive to the final phase of the gold rush cycle. " 
He may overstate the case a bit, however, by claim- 
ing that the homeward journey of the gold seekers 
has been a "heretofore unpublished story." Among 
previously published accounts of the return trip, for 
example, is the monumental edition of the papers of 
J. Goldsborough Bruff, edited by Georgia W. Read 

and Ruth Gaines and published in 1944. Holliday also 
acknowledges that the annual exodus from ( Califor- 
nia never came close to equalling the immigration to 
California — from 1848 to 1852 the state's population 
increased by a phenomenal 2500%. Nevertheless. 
Holliday has provided a valuable new perspective on 
the gold rush by emphasizing the cyclical nature of 
the experience for tens of thousands of Americans. 

The thoroughness of Swains individual account is 
supplemented by Holliday 's interpolations of parallel 
observers. Surely no other gold rush diary or letter 
collection has been subject to such a wide-ranging 
search for corroborating evidence. David M. Potter, 
for instance, in preparing tor publication Trail to 
California: The Overland Journal oj I Uncut ( leigerand 


California History 

Wakeman Bryarly (1945), was content to consult the 
diaries of 33 other forty-niners who passed along the 
California trail. By contrast, Holliday set himself the 
task ot consulting every available gold rush diary and 
letter from the period 1849 and 1850. It was from this 
exhaustive research that Holliday was able to provide 
the rich interpolations which, as he intended, expand 
the story of William Swain beyond the vision of just 
one man to encompass the broad panorama of the 
entire gold rush experience. 

The World Rushed In also stands as a remarkable 
achievement for its depiction of life "back home." 
Holliday 's inclusion of 29 letters to William Swain 
from his brother George and wife Sabrina tell the 
rarely told story of those who were left behind. What 
is apparent from this correspondence is the enormous 
strain which the gold rush inflicted upon marriages 
and families. Sabrina Swain expresses almost unbear- 
able anxiety during the prolonged absence of her 
husband. She questions whether even a fortune in 
gold will ever be sufficient compensation for the pain 
of separation. Her letters become resentful and 
accusatory as she describes the burden of being a 
single parent; the demands of their infant daughter 
Eliza, she confesses, are often more than she can 
meet. Holliday 's commentary on these passages is 
insightful. He argues that even the miners who re- 
turned home with "rocks in their pockets" had paid a 
heavy price for their newfound fortunes. "For these 
men," Holliday observes, "California's promise had 
been fulfilled, and their new status in the community 
obscured problems of personal relationships and 
made their return a triumph." 

For the many who returned home from California 
with empty pockets, the problems were more severe. 
Defensive husbands faced disappointed wives as well 
as gossiping neighbors and inquiring creditors. 
Whatever their success in California, the returning 
forty-niners, like returning war veterans, faced the 

difficulties of re-entering a world of restraint, con- 
vention, and family responsibility. 

Holliday is not the first, of course, to attempt to tell 
the story of the "California widows." Elizabeth 
Page, for instance, in editing the gold rush journal of 
her great uncle Henry Page, also included excerpts 
and paraphrases of letters from the family back home 
in Illinois. In Wagons West: A Story of the Oregon Trail 
(1930), we find expressions of anxiety, loneliness, 
and frustration similar to those of Sabrina Swain. The 
World Rushed In, however, places this family drama at 
the center of the gold rush experience, giving it a 
prominence and explication unmatched in any other 
published account. Here Holliday has made another 
important contribution to our understanding of that 
epochal event. 

The most innovative quality of The World Rushed 
In is its analysis of the psychological dimensions of 
the gold rush. Holliday presents his story on two 
levels: On the surface we follow William Swain's 
adventures from New York to California and back, 
while at the same time we share in the inner struggle 
of Swain's passage from great expectations, through 
doubt, discouragement and disappointment, to the 
admission of defeat, and finally to a prolonged period 
of romanticization and reconciliation. Swain is re- 
markably frank in recording his disappointments, 
and Holliday is at his best when analyzing the evolu- 
tion of Swain's psyche. 

In the spring of 1849, near Independence, Swain 
writes to Sabrina of his prospects for success in "the 
land of golden promise." His goal is to clear $10,000 
from the trip. Once in California, however, Swain's 
letters begin to take on a rather ambivalent tone. For a 
time he continues to speak of his own prospects with 
confidence, yet he confesses that he may need to stay 
on longer than he had intended, and he carefully 
admonishes his brother and others to stay at home. 
As Holliday explains, Swain, like thousands of 


The end oj the line for letters such as this one from Swain's 

wife Sabrina was the new Sacramento City post office. 

Expressmen hired by miners collected and delivered the 

envelopes to the mining camps for a charge of Si to $2 each. 

J.S. Holliday Collection 


other miners, faced a dilemma. 

They had to justify their staying in California far longer 
than ever expected, leaving wife and family with insuffi- 
cient funds, dependent on parents and friends; had to argue 
that another season in the mines would surely produce 
success. At the same time, they had to explain why no one 
else should come to California. 

Their anxiety was compounded by reading stories 
printed in the eastern newspapers of fabulous strikes 
still being made in California, while all about them 
they saw the evidence of failure and defeat. 

Swain's letters home soon become more forth- 
right. He begins to speak more openly of his 
disappointments and to describe California with dis- 
paragement. By April of 1850 Swain confides to 
Sabrina that his expectations have not been realized. 
Furthermore, he reports that 90 percent of the miners 
are downhearted and discouraged and, he adds, they 
have every right to be. Most are not even making 
expenses and many have seen "their bright day- 
dreams of golden wealth vanish like the dreams of 
night." Swain's own disappointment sours him even 
on California's climate and leads him to dismiss the 
future prospects of the state. "In my judgement," he 
scoffs, "she lacks the essential elements of national 
prosperity and will be one of the poorest states of the 

The struggle for William Swain and countless 
others was to overcome pride and admit defeat, to 
acknowledge that all the sacrifice and suffering by 
themselves and their families had been for little gain. 
Finally, in November 1850, Swain writes from San 
Francisco: "I have got enough of California and am 
coming home as fast as I can." At the most, Swain 

0~7? &&m^* 


?7* /ISL4U 


would arrive home $800 richer than when he had left. 

The theme of myth and reality, of expectation and 
disappointment, is certainly not unique to the papers 
ot William Swain. Among the earliest published 
accounts of the gold rush, such sentiments were com- 
monly expressed. See, for example William 
Shaw's Golden Dreams and Waking Realities (1851), 
George Payson's Golden Dreams and Leaden Realities 
(1853), and the acerbic Hinton Rowan Helper's Land 
of Gold: Reality Versus Fiction (1855). 

The inner journey of William Swain, however, is 
emblematic of the experiences of thousands of other 
less reflective or literate forty-niners. Holliday's 
commentary on this journey is fresh and provoca- 
tive. It is reminiscent ofjames D. Hart's probing 
interpretation of Richard Henry Dana's Two Years 
Before the Mast (1840). Hart, in an article first pub- 
lished in The American Quarterly in 1936, analyzed 
Dana's voyage to California as a trip inward as well as 
outward. During the course of their California 
sojourns, both Dana and Swain made important dis- 
coveries about themselves, discoveries which ulti- 
mately were more meaningful than any of the dra- 
matic episodes of their physical journey west. In the 
case of Swain, it was a profound realization of the 
importance of friends and family and the protective 
benevolence of his Creator. It was this "just estima- 
tion of things" which Swain calculated "will abun- 
dantly repay all my toils and privations" and, he- 
hoped, enable him "to discharge in a proper manner 
the duties of a member of society, a brother, son. 
husband, and father." William Swain tailed to find 
his fortune in California, but in the process of looking 
he found himself. 


J.S. Holliday 




" You may rest assured that I have an older 
head on my shoulders by about 1,000 years 
than when I left the states. " 

On November 26, 1849, the last refugees from Las- 
sen's Cut-off slumped down in the camps around 
Lassen's Ranch. Thanks to the government relief 
expedition, the cut-off had been cleared of the last 
emigrants. They were all safe, ready to dig for gold. 

Back on the trail, drifts of snow covered 200 miles 
of collapsed and mired wagons, flapping tents, 
bloated carcasses and treasured possessions scattered 
along that route which once had promised quick 
entry to the gold mines. 

On the Carson and Truckee trails, those who 
crossed the Sierra Nevada in September and even 
October had an easy time compared to what had 
happened on Lassen's. But wherever and whenever 
they set up their first camps in California, the gold- 
seekers had no way of knowing how many thousands 
had reached the mines ahead of them. They remem- 
bered the crowds at Independence or St. Joseph and 
the long lines of wagons along the Platte; they re- 
called reports of other trails to California and of ships 
sailing from New York crowded with goldseekers. 

Excerpts from "In the Diggings, " Chapter 10 of The World Rushed 
In: The California Gold Rush Experience by J.S. Holliday (Simon 
and Schuster, iq8i), are reproduced with the permission of J.S. 
Holliday and Simon and Schuster. 


By the glow oj the fire, miners survey the "results of the day" in their tiny windowless 
cabin. Charles Nahl issued this romantic lithograph c. 1851. 
CHS Fine Arts Collection 

California History 

.4 place without homes, a boom town of 
men, San Francisco was given over 
entirely to business, speculation 
and entertainment. 

But no one in the fall of 1849 sensed or foresaw the 
magnitude of the rush to California. 

Far to the south of the Carson, Truckee and Lassen 
trails, some 10,000 more overlanders completed their 
unforgettable journeys after months on the Santa Fe 
trail or one of the several routes that led from Texas 
and Vera Cruz across Mexico. Many of these com- 
panies found themselves by fall in the West Coast 
ports of San Bias, Mazatlan and even Acapulco, 
where they finally obtained ships to carry them to 

By all the overland routes at least 42,000 goldseek- 
ers reached California between late July and the end 
of 1849. As well, about 6,000 Mexicans from Sonora 
emigrated to the mining region, where they added to 
the population of Sonorans — "foreigners" — who 
had come there in 1848. . . . 

By the end of December 1849, 697 vessels had 
entered San Francisco Bay, delivering more than 
41,000 Americans and foreigners, of whom fewer 
than 800 were women. Most of those ships were 
deserted by their crews, left to rot on mudflats or to 
creak at anchor, until in later years some would be 
resurrected to carry thousands back to the States. 

The 89,000 goldseekers were not settlers or pio- 
neers in the tradition of America's westward migra- 
tion. These people came as exploiters, transients, 
ready to take, not to build. Whether in the diggings 
or in San Francisco, Sacramento City, or Stockton, 
they found themselves surrounded by crowds of hur- 
rying men concerned only with how to make the 

greatest amount of money in the shortest time. With 
that common motive, they also shared an indiffer- 
ence toward California and its future. No one knew 
where he might be next week, maybe headed home 
or working a claim on Sutter Creek. No one wanted 
to be tied down and burdened by social responsibil- 
ity. There were no jails; justice was inflicted quickly 
so as not to delay those called upon to pass judgment. 
In a world of strangers, in a place without evidence of 
government, religion or law, the goldseekers felt free 
to grasp for fortune. Like soldiers in a foreign land, it 
would be easy for many of them to slough off the 
social codes and moral precepts that had been en- 
forced by family, friends and the influence of the 

Arriving in California with their expectations still 
defined by what they had heard before leaving the 
States, hoping to achieve the quick successes that had 
been common and so widely reported in 1848, the 
men of '49 were dismayed to see so many miners 
along the banks of the American, Feather, 
Mokelumne and other rivers. They faced a reality 
that some must have anticipated and feared: too 
many goldseekers had come to El Dorado. 

In 1848 a maximum of 6, 000 worked the diggings. 
By December 1849 there were at least 40,000 miners 
in the same area. While the '48ers had always been 
able to find a place to dig and had usually been 
quickly rewarded, the crowds in the fall of '49 found 
many of the rivers and their tributaries already 
claimed. In San Francisco, Sacramento City and 
Stockton and in the hill towns of Placerville, 
Mokelumne Hill, Sonora, Nevada City, Volcano 
and other settlements, another 40,000 men and a few 
women prepared to go into the mines or sought their 
fortunes in burgeoning business opportunities. Fach 
day several thousand gave up their hopes and made 
plans to return home. . . . 

For the thousands who came by sea, the first reality 


In the Diggings 

was San Francisco, a place of frantic growth. From 
the ship-crowded waterfront to the sandy hills, they 
heard the sounds of construction, the shouts of auc- 
tioneers and the music of gambling saloons. Boxes, 
bags, barrels, crates of foodstuffs and merchandise 
were stacked and piled in the mud and stagnant water 
of the streets. Scores of tents and canvas-covered 
structures flapped and swayed next to wooden and 
iron buildings shipped in from the states. A place 
without homes, a boom town of men, San Francisco 
was given over entirely to business, speculation and 
entertainment. Auction houses, hotels, bathhouses, 
groggeries, billiard rooms, boardinghouses, eating 
and drinking houses, two- and four-story office 
buildings, banks and scores of gambling saloons — all 
these, along with "dens of lewd women," crowded 
the steep and filthy streets. . . . 

In August, San Francisco's population was esti- 
mated at 6,000, by November 15,000. But it mat- 
tered little, so many were transients. Of the thou- 
sands who arrived each month by ship, most headed 
for the mines after a few days of San Francisco's 
temptations. . . . 

Not only thousands of would-be and former min- 
ers passed through San Francisco but everything that 
the new Californian needed, from whiskey to nails. 
Merchants in New York and other ports sent ships 
around Cape Horn loaded with whatever they 
thought would sell in the California market: tons of 
flour and pork, boxes of needles, bundles of shovels, 
axes and picks, thousands of yards of canvas, lumber 
in quantity and all sizes, boots, blankets, woolen 
clothing, mirrors, chandeliers, mahogany furniture, 
champagnes and wines, food of all kinds from canned 
oysters to cheeses. More important to the men of 
California than anything else, ocean steamers 
brought tons of mail. On August 26, 1849, the 
steamer Panama delivered to the overwhelmed San 
Francisco post office bags with 25,000 letters. Future 

shipments would double that number. 

Inasmuch as the gold region with scores of mining 
camps and several towns offered a far greater market 
than San Francisco, most of the imports were loaded 
onto smaller boats for the 150-mile passage up the 
Sacramento or San Joaquin rivers to Sacramento City 
or Stockton. Sacramento City served as the commer- 
cial and transport center for the northern mines scat- 
tered along the tributaries of the Sacramento River, 
while Stockton was equally important for the south- 
ern mines on the tributaries of the San Joaquin. From 
a few wooden shanties and canvas-covered structures 
in the spring, both settlements grew rapidly during 
the summer of 1849. Then in the fall they felt the 
impact of the overlanders' needs for food tents, 
boots, blankets, and everything else abandoned n the 
trails. In both cities, warehouses, hotels, stores, res- 
taurants and gambling halls were built of logs, can- 
vas, sheet iron, bricks — whatever could be found, 
purchased or cannibalized. Along the rivers' banks 
scores of ships were tied up, their cargoes stacked 
under the sycamore and Cottonwood trees. As at San 
Francisco, many of these vessels had been abandoned 
by their crews, and merchants had taken them as 
storehouses and hotels. 

Few if any of the miners, businessmen, merchants, 
shippers, speculators, bankers, gamblers — the thou- 
sands of men in the instant cities and scores of mining 
camps — paused that fall of 1849 to consider what 
wondrous changes had been accomplished in a mat- 
ter of months: village to metropolis at San Francisc <>. 
wilderness to thriving ports at Sacramento City and 
Stockton, canyons and gulches to one-street mining 
towns, quiet rivers to commercial thoroughfares — 
everywhere the sounds of growth, business and high 
hopes. It had all been done without technology I 
cept for the ocean-going sidewheelers that came into 
San Francisco Bay, there were feM if any steam en- 
gines as yet in California. Mining techniques were 


California History 

primitive, building materials and methods simple; 
transport was by sail, muleback or wagon, and com- 
munication by interminable mail. The motive forces 
had been avarice, impatience, inventiveness and 

Yankee enterprise and investment accelerated the 
transformation of California. Delivery of everything 
the mining region needed came by sailing vessels 
upriver from San Francisco, a voyage that took three 
to ten days. With demand so great and prices fluctuat- 
ing wildly from day to day, merchants and specu- 
lators needed faster, more reliable transport for their 
merchandise. In response, East Coast businessmen 
shipped three disassembled steamboats to San 
Francisco. Launched in September, they replaced the 
uncertainty of sail with the dependability of steam; 
but they were too small to carry tons of freight and 
hundreds of passengers. Beginning in October, 
larger steamers that had sailed around Cape Horn 
established ten-to-twelve-hour scheduled service be- 
tween San Francisco and the river ports. The first of 
what the San Francisco newspapers admiring de- 
scribed as "floating palaces," the 750-ton Senator 
made a profit of over $60,000 each month during the 
first year of operation. Freight charges of $40 and 
more per ton from San Francisco to Sacramento City 
exceeded the cost of shipping the same goods from 
New York to the booming Pacific port. 

While the river transport system was modernized, 
getting the barrels of flour, kegs of pork and liquor, 
bags of beans, bales, sacks and boxes from the river 
ports up to the mining camps and towns depended on 
wagons and pack mules. Each day throughout the 
dry season (May to October or November) hundreds 
of mule- and ox-drawn wagons set out from Sacra- 
mento City and Stockton over dusty roads, headed 
upcountry to the stores, hotels, and gambling 
saloons. In country too steep for wagons, long trains 
of pack mules followed trails that climbed high along 

narrow ridges and descended sharply to remote col- 
lections of miners' tents and shanties. Even the sure- 
footed mules, "clipper ships of the mountains," were 
often delayed by storms, mountain slides or deep 
snowdrifts which made packing hazardous and 
sometimes impossible. But great profits could be 
made in this trade, with the packers charging as much 
as 75 cents per pound. 

By spring 1850, competition among steamboats, 
freighters and packers would drive prices down, 
easing the risks of the small merchants and the living 
expenses of the miners. But meantime, with gold 
seemingly inexhaustible and the population vastly 
increased, the forces were obviously at hand to create 
a staggering inflation. . . . 

The economy was based on gold production, but 
no one knew just how much was being mined, put 
into circulation and shipped back to the States or to 
Europe, Mexico and South America. Such statistics 
were calculated in later years, but even then they 
would reflect considerable uncertainty. Estimates of 
gold production for 1848 ranged from $245,000 to 
$10 million, with similar imprecision for 1849: $10 
million to $40 million. Whatever the actual numbers, 
the fact was that California boomed on gold, with 
production reaching a more accurate total of $81 
million in 1852. 

As with the sum, so the parts reported in 1849 
contrasted widely, from the many miners who 
panned one or two ounces each day — $16 to $32 — to 
the lucky few who struck it rich. Two men on the 
Yuba River reported on November 4 that after two 
weeks' work "we have got $5,000." A company of 
miners on the American River as of August 30 "had 
raised in three days over $15,000." Not only the 
newspapers trumpeted these successes; they were re- 
ported and exaggerated by miners, packers and 
gamblers moving from one mining camp to another. 

Everyone eagerly believed the stories of success, 


Kxtcnt of Mining l>\ Spring 1X5(1 

old-timers who had been mining since spring '49 and 
newcomers from ships or overland trails. They all 
needed reassurance that, despite the crowds of 
miners, California's rivers, creekbeds and dry dig- 
gings could still yield the sudden fortunes that would 
justify months of unrewarding work or weary travel. 
Especially anxious to hear of rich strikes were the 
thousands who arrived in November after the disas- 
ter on Lassen's Cut-off or after a voyage long delayed 
by a rough passage around Cape Horn. 

William Swain was among those November late- 
comers — he and Frederick Bailey, Michael Hutchin- 
son, John Root, James Pratt, Horace Ladd and the 
other Rangers, all trying to decide where to stake 
their claims in a world they had long anticipated and 
now entered with anxiety. . . . 

When Swain and Bailey left Lassen's Ranch on 
November 11, they set out over a well-marked trail 
for the Feather River. After a three-day hike, they 
reached a mining camp called Long's Bar, a collection 
of squalid shacks and tents along the Feather where 
some two thousand miners crowded together, most 
of them driven from their claims by the rising waters 

of the river and its forks. Swain and Bailey found 
Michael Hutchinson there, and with two other 
Rangers they agreed to form a mining partnership. 
Purchasing high-priced provisions at Long's Trading 
Post, they packed their supplies and mining tools on 
their backs and followed a muddy trail over a high 
ridge and down to the South Fork of the Feather, 
where they staked a claim at the edge of the roaring 
stream. . . . 

While few of the words and phrases that had been 
used to describe California would prove to be accu- 
rate, the most common was the most precise: in the 
diggings. Digging was the constant and endless task 
that faced every miner. Digging on a river bar in 
sand, gravel and rocks, between massive boulders, 
some of which had to be pushed aside. Digging in 2 
dust-dry gulch hundreds of yards from the cool 
sounds of rushing water. Always digging, down and 
down through the eons of accumulation of rock and 
gravel that dulled pickaxes and bent shovels. 1 )own 
six, eight, ten feet to reach bedrock , where the gold in 
flakes, granules or coarse nuggets — some several 
ounces large — would be found by weary miners 


California History 

whose hearts would leap and voices shout in triumph. 

Even in 1848 when success came quickly to a few 
thousand miners and campfire stories sent men hur- 
rying to the latest strike, even then the labor of dig- 
ging had been universal . Whether at Mokclumne Hill 
in the southern mines or Rough and Ready to the 
north, the gold had to be dug from beneath the 
overlay of sand, gravel and rock. Through 1848 and 
most of 1849 the miners depended on the pan and the 
rocker to separate the gold. Simple to operate and 
easily portable, these "machines" remained domi- 
nant as long as the miners' nomadic impulse was 
sustained by new discoveries or the belief that such 
discoveries could be made by prospecting even fur- 
ther upstream. Thousands of newcomers were re- 
luctant to give up the methods of their predecessors. 
No one wanted to invest time and money in complex 
machinery that would require months — maybe 
years — to achieve profitability, and, worse, would 
prevent joining the rush to the latest discovery. 

By fall '49 there were few new discoveries and the 
old diggings were overwhelmed by miners. Gold 
could still be found, but no longer in such easy abun- 
dance. More efficient mining methods were called 
for — and so the long torn came into use. 

It was simply an enlarged rocker, eight to fifteen 
feet in length. With its upper end attached to a flume 
or ditch which delivered a constant stream of water, 
the long torn allowed three or four men to wash great 
quantities of dirt dug by others at their claim. Be- 
cause this primitive improvement in mining tech- 
nology reduced the cost — the time and effort — of 
washing each cubic yard of dirt, miners could work 
claims that would have been unprofitable with only 
pan and rocker. 

As important as was the torn, an even greater gain 
in efficiency came from the use of mercury or quick- 
silver, which was being mined south of San Francisco 
at New Almaden. Because this element has an affin- 

ity for gold, it was placed along the riffles or cleats, 
the obstacles on the bottom of the torn over which 
the water carried the gold-bearing sand and gravel. 
With this magnet, even the smallest specks of gold 
were held and amalgamated with the mercury. At the 
end of the day the men scraped the mercury from the 
riffles and heated it until it turned to vapor, releasing 
the gold. When cooled to its liquid form, the mercury 
was ready to be used the next day. 

As science slowly replaced luck, as patience com- 
peted with impulse, other changes evolved during 
the fall of 1849. By far the most important was river 
mining. Living week after week along the rocky 
banks of the many rivers, looking at those roaring, 
winter-high waters that tumbled down from the 
Sierra Nevada, the miners believed — they knew — 
that for thousands of years the river bottoms had 
accumulated great deposits of gold, lodged in crev- 
ices, stored in potholes, piled up behind great boul- 
ders. Safe from all the digging of 1848, gold awaited 
the men who could devise a means of harvesting such 
a treasure. The concept satisfied both imagination 
and avarice. Building dams, flumes and races to di- 
vert the rivers would require steady labor for many 
months, some skill and considerable money to pay 
the costs of feeding the men and buying equipment. 
To meet this challenge, companies would have to be 
formed, not unlike those organized for the overland 

Thus a major change evolved — from individual, 
nomadic prospecting with simple, portable equip- 
ment to a commitment by a group of men on a single 
claim to invest months of effort in a complex, co- 
operative project. Here was Yankee enterprise and 
inventiveness at its best: move the Sierra's rivers, 
force them out of their ancient channels, lay bare the 
rivers' beds. 

By January 1850, when Swain and his partners 
came to the South Fork, river mining had become the 


In the Diggings 

ambition of most miners. The great idea had been 
tried with encouraging success along the Feather and 
the American rivers in the fall of '49, before the 
winter rains turned those streams into raging torrents 
that swept away the miners' barriers. The Swain 
partners staked a claim where they believed they 
could build a dam after the snows had melted and the 
river receded. Meantime, they cut down pine trees 
and built a log cabin on the slope above the river. 
They did some prospecting in ravines and gullies 
some distance from the swollen river, washing a few 
shovels of dirt and gravel in their pans, searching for 
the specks of yellow that might justify a more serious 
effort, while waiting for the weather to allow the 
start of river mining. . . . 

William Swain wrote his first letter from California 
on December 13 — but this report of his safe arrival, 
so anxiously awaited in Youngstown, never reached 
the Swains. Sabrina, George and Mrs. Swain were 
without news of William for seven months, from 
September 10 when they received his last letter writ- 
ten on the trail at Fort Laramie until April 10, 1850. 
On that date his letter of January 6 from his claim on 
the South Fork was read in the Swains' cobblestone 
house. After their excitement quieted, the Swains 
shared the letter. . . . 

For Swain the silence from Youngstown would 
not end until March 3 , when for the first time in 
almost a year he would read of home and know that 
Sabrina and Little Cub, George and his mother had 
all survived cholera, lesser diseases and imagined 
accidents. . . . 

As the miners longed for letters, they cursed the 
agency responsible for delivering them. The United 
States Post Office Department had failed utterly to 
prepare for the growth of California's population and 
the clamorous demand for mail service. The special 
agent sent to set up post offices did not arrive until 
February 1 849; his instructions provided for offices at 

More than 45,000 letters besides 
uncounted bushels of newspapers were 
piled into the San Francisco post office, 
where the clerks jound it necessary to 
barricade themselves as protection from 
the shouting, pounding, threatening 

San Diego, San Pedro, Santa Barbara, Monterey and 
San Francisco. Month by month the Pacific Mail 
steamships' cargoes of letters increased. On October 
31, 1849, more than 45,000 letters "besides un- 
counted bushels of newspapers" were piled into the 
San Francisco post office, where the clerks found it 
necessary to barricade themselves as protection from 
the shouting, pounding, threatening crowd. To pre- 
vent a general riot, the supplicants finally were per- 
suaded to form lines "which extended all the way 
down the hill into Porstmouth Square and the man at 
the tail of the longest line might count on spending 
six hours in it before reaching the window. Those 
who were near the goal frequently sold out their 
places to impatient candidates for $10 and and even 
$25. Indeed, several persons in want of money prac- 
ticed this game daily as a means of living. Vendors of 
pies, cakes, and newspapers established themselves in 
front of the office to supply the crowd, while others 
did a profitable business by carrying cans of coffee up 
and down the lines." 

In November 1849 a post office was opened at 
Sacramento City, but the problem remained: How to 
get the letters to the mining camps up in the hills? 
Once again Yankee enterprise took over. Sensing a 
profit to be made, many miners left their claims to go 
into the business of collecting mail at the San 
Francisco and Sacramento City post offices and de- 


ii "X Mnimii Company. 

A Company of prtspeclm§ miners 



California's earliest lithographers, as well as stay-at-home 
eastern satirists, poked fun at the naive expectations and ill- 
preparedness of California-bound gold seekers in lettersheets 
such as this one printed c. 1852 by Quirot. 
California Historical Society Fine Arts Collection 

livcring it to the camps and towns. These expressmen 
traveled everywhere, to the most remote camps, 
wherever a merchant kept a list on which miners 
could record their names. Each month the express- 
men took their lists to the post offices to collect letters 
and newspapers for their subscribers. They charged 
$1 to $2 per letter delivered and usually 50 cents for a 
letter taken to the post office. Through this system, 
which became ever more competitive as the number 
ot expressmen and express companies increased, the 
miners obtained their letters from the States. 

Though frustrating and expensive, this mail sys- 
tem did provide, as Swain phrased it, "a line of 
communication . . . until we can converse with our 
tongues." Having packed away his diary to be pre- 
served as the record of his overland journey, Swain 
used his letters to tell of his California experiences. So 
it was with most overland diarists. . . . Their diaries 
had told of the journey. The search for gold was just 
beginning and would be an experience they could 
share by mail. 

The excerpt which follows is a portion of Chapter 10, "In 
the Diggings, " and includes William Swain's correspon- 
dence from January 6 to March ij , 1830. Swain and his 
companions had just completed their overland journey, hav- 
ing arrived in California in the state's far northeast corner. 
Their relatively late arrival in the diggings was the conse- 
quence of their late departure from Independence and their 
mistaken notion that the Lassen Cutoff was a true shortcut. 
As they were just beginning their ascent of the Warner 
Range, at least 20, 000 other miners had already arrived in 
the gold regions over the Carson and Truckee trails. The 
Swain party's arrival at the ranch of Peter Lassen on the 
Sacramento came nearly six months after leaving the 

The selection reprinted here provides an important tran- 
sition from Swain's experiences on the overland trail to his 
impressions of life in California. The letters also reveal the 

transition in Swain's thought, from the hopeful promise of 
January — "there is an abundance of gold here" — to the 
disappointment of March — "We have found some gold, 
but . . . it will not be so profitable as we expected. "Perhaps 
the most interesting letter in all the Swain correspondence is 
his letter of January 6. Here we begin to sense the dimen- 
sions of Swain's dilemma as he reassures the folks back 
home of his good prospects and yet warns those who are 
contemplating joining him: "For God's sake think not of 

The "joint stock company" referred to by Swain in his 
January 6 letter is the Wolverine Rangers, the 58menJ~rom 
Marshall, Michigan, which Swain and his friends from 
New York had joined in Independence. The letters are 
addressed to Swain 's brother George and wife Sabrina on 
the family farm in Youngstown, New York, north of Niag- 
ara Falls. References to the "Little Cub" or "little Sister" 
are to Swain's daughter Eliza, born in June of 1848. 
William Swain himself had been born in Youngstown in 
1821, and thus he began his epic journey to California at the 
age of twenty-seven. 

Not included in this excerpt are footnotes identifying the 
sources for Holliday's introductory material and for the 
interpolations which appear in brackets in the text. Full 
documentation of course is provided in the book. Also, 
portions of Swain's letters have been deleted, as has the 
"Back Home" section containing the letters of George and 

January 6, 1850 

South Fork of Feather River 

25 miles from Long's Trading Post, and 

16 miles above Bidwell's Trading Post 

Dear George, 

It is so long a time since I wrote you and I have 
passed through so many scenes and changes of condi- 
tion that I scarcely know what to say among the 
multitude of things I wish to write. . . . 

We arrived at Lawson's Ranch on the 8th day 1 >t 


California History 

November, tired and worn down with toil and expo- 
sure but hardy, healthy, and in good spirits, buoyant 
with hope. We were in the Sacramento Valley in the 
rainy season, destitute of provisions, without shelter, 
and everything eatable worth from $i to $i .50 per 
pound. In fact, all was dear but rain and mud which 
was everywhere. 

We rested three days and put out for the Feather 
River mines, where we arrived on the 14th of No- 
vember at Long's Trading Post, the first mines on 
this stream . ["Over two thousand people were living 
there in tents, wagons, and small cloth houses. Many 
were fearful of starving. . . . The roads were impass- 
able for teams in the valley and consequently the 
supply of provisions was small." The settlement was 
scattered on both sides of the river. "Wherever the 
eye wandered on the slopes and in the ravines close to 
the edge of the river, tents were pitched. . . ." 
"There were fifteen to twenty stores" and the Batavia 
Hotel, "a comfortable house of canvas and logs." 
"The river was about 100 yards wide, running like a 
torrent through a narrow gorge in the mountains 
which are piled up on either side to the height of one 
thousand feet. "J 

. . . Mr. Hutchinson had packed through on his 
pony from the summit where we dissolved the joint 
stock company that we started with from Independ- 
ence. He, Mr. Bailey, myself, and Mr. SamuelJ. 
Moore of Calhoun County, Michigan, a Methodist 
preacher; and Lt. Franklin Cannon of Manchester, 
Michigan, have agreed to work in the mines on the 
joint [share equally] principle. 

From all that Mr. Hutchinson had learned and that 
we could hear, we judged the South Fork of the 
Feather River to be the most likely to yield a pile 
another summer, for the following reasons: the main 
part of the Feather River and all the southern rivers 
had been overrun and consequently the best and rich- 
est placers found and worked. The South Fork of the 

Feather River was reported to be rich, and the gold on 
it coarse and not much worked. [In fact, the South 
Fork "had been but little prospected until late Fall, 
and as late as December there were but three or four 
cabins for the distance of twenty miles above 
Bidwell's Bar. "J There is good timber for building 
(not the case on many of the streams of California), 
which with us is an important consideration as we 
believed our health next summer depended upon 
having dry, warm, and comfortable habitation dur- 
ing the rainy season. . . . 

In late November we bought provisions at Long's 
Trading Post and took packs of fifty pounds each. 
["Nobody moves here without his bed on his back, 
takes a pick, pan, and shovel, firearms and ammuni- 
tion."] We traveled over the mountains for twenty- 
five miles through rain, mud and clouds and arrived 
on the South Fork on the third day. ("The descent to 
the river is one mile and a half, from an altitude of 
2,500 feet — rapid, rough, rocky, precipitous, slip- 
pery and slideing."] 

After prospecting two days, we located a spot 
favorable for damming and draining the river. We 
made our claim, and then built a house as soon as 
possible to shelter our heads from the soaking rains. 
So here we are, snug as schoolmarms, working at our 
race and dam. Whenever the rain will permit, a fall of 
the river will enable us to get into the bed of the river 
and know what is there. If there is no gold, we shall 
be off to another place, for there is an abundance of 
gold here, and if we are blessed with health, we are 
determined to have a share of it. . . . 

You may have some curiosity to know something 
about our location and dwelling. Our house is a log 
cabin, sixteen by twenty feet. It is covered with 
boughs of cedar and is made of nut pine logs from one 
to two feet in diameter, so that it is quite a block- 
house. It has a good door made of cedar boards hewn 
out of cedar logs, but no window. It faces the south 


In the Diggings 

and is on the north side of the river. In the east end is a 
family fireplace, in which large backlogs are burning 
night and day. At the west end is a bedstead framed 
into the logs of the cabin and running from side to 
side. The cords of the bedstead are strips of rawhide, 
crossing at every three inches, thus forming a bottom 
tight enough to hold large armfuls of dry breaks 
gathered from the sides of the mountains, which 
make a substitute for feather beds. On these are our 
blankets and buffalo skins. Altogether it makes a 
comfortable bed. Over the fireplace are our rifles, 
which are ever ready, cocked and primed, and fre- 
quently yield us good venison. In the other corner 
may be seen our cupboard with its contents, which 
consist of a few wooden and tin dishes, bottles, 
knives and forks and spoons, tin frying pan, boiler, 
and coffee pot. 

Around the sides of the cabin at various points are 
the few articles of clothing belonging to the different 
members of the company. Under the bed are five 
cakes of tallow, under the bunk are three or four large 
bags ot flour. Along the point of the roof is a line of 
dried beef and sixty or seventy pounds of suet. And 
out at the corner of the house in a large trough made 
of pine may be found salt beef in the pickle, in 

At ten in the evening you might see in this cabin, 
while everything is still, a fire blazing up from the 
mass of fuel in the large fireplace, myself and Hutch- 
inson on one end of the bedstead, Lt. Cannon on the 
other, Mr. Bailey stretched before the fire in his 
blankets on the ground floor, and Moore in his bunk. 
On the roof the incessant rain keeps up its perpetual 
patter, while the foaming stream howls out a requi- 
em of the rushing torrent as it dashes on its way to the 
valley. And here, wakeful and listless, are the mem- 
bers of other circles too. But often the mind is far 
away, filled with other scenes, far distant homes, and 

On the Yuba River, miners' law 
required that "if a man steals, they flog 
him for the first offense; second offense 
they crop his ears, and third, 
they hang him." 

In front of our cabin a mountain rises from the edge 
of the river two thousand feet and hides the sun till 
ten o'clock in the day. Its top is often covered with 
snow. The live oak and numerous other mountain 
evergreens, besides the pine and cedar, green as 
spring, are loaded with snow near the mountain top 
and dripping with rain on its side and base. And this is 
only a specimen of the hills and scenery on all sides of 

The following is a list of prices current per pound 
when we arrived at Long's Bar: pork, Si. 25; beans 
from 75 cents to $1; sugar, 75 cents; coffee, 50 cents; 
tea, $2.50; saleratus, $6; vinegar, $5; pickaxes and tin 
pans, $8 apiece; coffee pots, $6 to S8; frying pans, $6. 

These prices were caused by the rains which com- 
menced six weeks earlier this year than last and con- 
sequently found the merchants in the mines without 
having laid in their winter's stock. [Before the rains 
started in early November, supplies were shipped 
from Sacramento City by freight wagon and "haul- 
ing provisions and teaming generally paid more than 
well. Early in the season a man could get S800 to take 
three thousand pounds to the mines." But after the 
rains began, "the ground was so soft that it mired 
teams down so deep it was impossible to get them 
out, and they had to be left to die or to be shot." A 
man who saw freight wagons two miles above Sacra- 
mento City on November 13 reported "many teams 
stalled to their wagon beds in the muddy road .mil 
oxen firmly mired up to their bellies Some were 
being pulled out with chains around their horns by 


By the time Swain reai hed the gold fields , panning had been 

superseded by more efficient methods of river mining. This 

daguerreotype from late 1850 shows a flume, probably in the 

heather or Yuba River mines. 

Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 

other cattle, while bundles of hay before those wait- 
ing their turns showed them to have been mired some 
time. "| 

. . . We found the most extraordinary state of 
morals in the mines. Everything in this country is left 
where the owner wished to leave it, in any place no 
matter where, as such a thing as stealing is not known. 

"The security we enjoy here would astonish 
dwellers in what are called well-organized societies 
where bolts and bars secure every door and safe, and 
vigilant watchmen are about. We leave our tents 
containing our gold and chattels with none to guard 
them, to be absent all day, without a thought. Pros- 
pectors are constantly traveling to and fro." "The 
general honesty ... is usually attributed to the 
prompt and severe punishment always ready for of- 
fenders. . . . Arrest, trial and punishment rarely oc- 
cupy more than a few hours. . . . No warrants, in- 
dictments, or appeals delay proceedings. . . . The 
miners are anxious to get back to their work and the 
prisoner is not long kept in suspense." 

[In the absence of any governmental authority, 
police or jails, the miners on each river established 
their own laws. On the South Fork there were "two 
cases of theft. One of the men was flogged with 100 
lashes and the other 150. The latter died from the 
flogging." Over the ridge on the Yuba River, miners' 
law required that "if a man steals, they flog him for 
the first offense; second offense they crop his ears, 
and third, they hang him." On the North Fork of the 
American River "a man stole $300 and had both his 
ears cut off and the letter 'T' branded in his cheek. 
Theft consequently is of rare occurrence.") 

. . . George, I tell you this mining among the 
mountains is a dog's life. A man has to make a jackass 
of himself packing loads over mountains that God 
never designed man to climb, a barbarian by forego- 
ing all the comforts of civilized life, and a heathen by 
depriving himself of all communication with men 

away from his immediate circle. ["We see nothing 
here but hills, mountains and rocks ... no farming 
operations, no meetings, no horses and carriages or 
cattle, no female society — hear no music except the 
occasional squeaking of a hoarse fiddle in some lone 
cabin, and the croaking of ravens, the chattering of 
woodpeckers and the roaring of the Rio de Los 
Plumas. . . ."j 

There was some talk between us of your coming to 
this country. For God's sake think not of it. Stay at 
home. Tell all whom you know that are thinking of 
coming that they have to sacrifice everything and face 
danger in all its forms, for George, thousands have 
laid and will lay their bones along the routes to and in 
this country. Tell all that "death is in the pot" if they 
attempt to cross the plains and hellish mountains. . . . 

My health has been extremely good since I arrived 
here. I am fifteen pounds heavier than when I left 
home and measured six feet last evening. A slight 
attack of rheumatism in the left hip has given me 
some trouble for a few days. 

You may think from the tenor of this letter that I 
am sick of my job, but not so. I have not seen the hour 
yet when I regretted starting for California, nor have 
any one of our little party ever regretted that we 
undertook the enterprise. I have seen hard times, 
faced the dangers of disease and exposure and perils 
of all kinds, but I count them nothing if they enable 
me to place myself and family in comfortable 

Now you will think that there is a contradiction in 
the advice that I gave you and others about coming to 
California and the declaration of my own satisfaction 
that I have performed the journey. The fact is that 
gold is plenty here and the accounts received before I 
left home did not exaggerate the reality. Therefore I 
am glad that I am here. But the time is past — if it ever 
existed — when fortunes could be obtained for pick- 
ing them up. Gold is found in the most rocky and 


rough places, and the streams and bars that are rich 
are formed of huge rocks and stones. In such places, 
you will see, it requires robust labor and hard tugging 
and lifting to separate the gold from the rock. But this 
is nothing to the risk of life run in traveling to this 
country. Therefore, if I was at home and knew all the 
circumstances, I think I should stay at home; but 
having passed those dangers in safety, I thank God 
that I am here in so favorable circumstances. 

[Other miners more easily discouraged, admitted 
after only a few days' work that "if there had been a 
vessel lying upon the Feather River bound for New 
Orleans, there was not one of us who would not 
rather have stepped on board than to have gone one 
step farther in search of gold, for our prospects are 
truly gloomy. . . . Almost every man we meet who 
has been in the mines is wishing himself out of this 
country." "Two-thirds of the people that are here 

would go home immediately if they had the 
means. . . . Generally speaking the gold fever cools 
down in a wonderful manner after a man has been 
here a week or two."] 

I hope soon to send for my letters, and God grant 
that they may bring no sad intelligence from home, 
for I almost dread to hear from that happy home, 
fearing that our neighborhood may have been the 
theater of cholera. 

You are better acquainted with the state of things 
around San Francisco Bay than I am, and therefore I 
say nothing about them. 

Give my love to Mother, if she is yet living, and 
say to her that I often, very often, think of her. Tell 
Sabrinamv to be overanxious about me, for I shall be 
careful of my health, and as soon as I can get the rocks 
in my pocket I shall hasten home as fast as steam can 
carry me. 


California History 

There arc a great number of dealers in 
produce, or rather eatables here [in 
Sacramento City], but more dealers 
of monte. 

Write often, for I may sometime or another get 
your letters. 

[to be continued January 12, 1850] 

[While Swain and thousands of other miners 
waited during January in the isolated mining camps 
of the Feather and Yuba rivers for the rainy season to 
end and the rushing waters to subside, hundreds of 
goldseekers chose to spend the winter in Sacramento 
City; others went there to buy supplies, enjoy a few 
days' spree or seek out their mail. One of these was 
Isaac Lord, who had traveled overland near and 
sometimes with the Rangers. From the Feather River 
mines he paddled a small boat down the Sacramento 
River and arrived at the city the afternoon of De- 
cember 22. In his diary he wrote that "the first view 
we had of the city was where a line of ships stretches 
along the river for nearly a mile, then a few houses 
loom up mistily in the fog among the trees. . . . The 
ships are fast to the shore and seem to be used as 
storehouses. . . . We paddled our craft into a kind of 
pool, tied up to a tree on the bank and stepped into the 
street. . . . The first that strikes one's attention . . .is 
the want of order — the utter confusion and total 
disorder which prevail on every hand. . . . The 
streets are not graded, nor is anything done to clear 
them out, except cutting down some of the scattering 
trees which five or six months ago were the sole 
occupants of the ground. The whole town plot is 
covered with boxes and barrels, empty or filled with 

all kinds of goods, in passable, indifferent, or bad 
order, or totally ruined; and wagons, lumber, glass 
bottles, machinery, and plunder of all sorts, heaped 
and scattered and tumbled about in the most admired 
confusion." "The streets are half a leg deep in filth 
and mud, rendering getting about awful beyond de- 
scription. . . . The city is one great cesspool of mud, 
offal, garbage, dead animals and that worst of 
nuisances consequent upon the entire absence of 

"The whole city is literally stuffed, crammed with 
eatables of every description, so exposed that almost 
every kind must suffer more or less damage and 
hundred of thousands of dollars' damage is already 
done. I saw at one establishment alone over 200 boxes 
of herrings rotting in one pile; any amount of spoiled 
pork, bacon, cheese, moldy and rotten; pilot bread; 
and most everything else. The destruction and waste 
of property here is almost or quite equal to that on the 
plains, with not half the necessity, and a thousand 
times the recklessness. 

"There are a great number of dealers in produce or 
rather eatables here but more dealers of monte. The 
taverns have usually a large barroom in front, passing 
to which you will see, on one side, more display of 
glasses, bottles, cigars and liquors than in three or 
four of the largest liquor taverns in Chicago; and on 
the other, three or four or more tables and a man 
behind dealing monte, and this at all hours from 
breakfast to midnight." 

["One of these public houses called 'The Plains' has 
its walls frescoed with scenes familiar to overland 
emigrants — Independence Rock, Devil's Gate, 
passes in the Rocky Mountains and in the Sierra 
Nevada, etc." Another "is a place made of a huge 
circular tent, like a small circus, and emblazoned with 
large letters 'City Diggins.' This during the day is 
almost unoccupied but at night music rings out and it 
is to excess crowded." 


In the Diggings 

"The only object of many here appears to be to kill 
time and all kinds of amusements are invented to do 
the thing up as brilliantly as possible. For instance, 
the Young Men's Society Ball must have been de- 
cidedly rich. Fancy 150 hombres . . . each striving to 
secure one of the seventeen young ladies that were 
present. Tickets only $20. . . ." 

"The southern part of Sacramento City, where 
the most of the overland emigrants locate them- 
selves, is an interesting place for a night ramble. . . . 
The number of emigrants settled there for the winter 
amounts to two or three thousand. . . .Thereon 
fallen logs about their campfires might be seen 
groups that had journeyed together across the conti- 
nent, recalling the hardships and perils of the travel. 
The men with their long beards, weather-beaten 
faces and ragged garments seen in the red, flickering 
light of the fires make wild and fantastic pictures. 
Sometimes four of them might be seen about a 
stump, intent on reviving their ancient knowledge of 
poker, and occasionally, a more social group filling 
their cups from a kettle of tea or something stronger. 
Their fires, however, are soon left to smolder away. 
The evenings are too raw and they are too weary with 
the day's troubles to keep long vigils. . . . The con- 
versation is sure to wind up with a talk about home — 
a lamentation for its missed comforts and frequently 
a regret at having forsaken them. The subject is in- 
exhaustible, and when once they commence calling 
up the scenes and incidents of life in the Atlantic or 
Mississippi world, everything else is forgotten. . . ." 

["December 24. Were it not that the whole 
country about us is under water, business here would 
be almost unlimited. . . . There are auction sales on 
the river bank at all hours of the day, where very 
many articles are to be obtained at greatly — rela- 
tively — reduced prices. The great drawback is the 
damaged condition of most of the goods. There are 
hundreds of men selling their 'traps' at auction and 

The people here refrain from — from I 
hardly know what, unless it is common, 
vulgar stealing. 

then bound for home. Some have made enough al- 
ready, and others are disgusted with the country and 
retire, homesick. Many are going to try their luck at 
San Francisco. . . . 

["December 26. The people here refrain from — 
from I hardly know what, unless it is common, vul- 
gar stealing. I think there is less of what is ordinarily 
called stealing here than any place I was ever in; and 
yet there can be little difficulty in stealing to almost 
any extent. A vast amount of property, easily mov- 
able, is daily and nightly exposed without a watch, or 
even a lock. 

["I was struck all aback when I saw the merchants 
receiving and handling gold. To examine the quality, 
they go through much the same maneuvers as the 
wheat buyers of Chicago when inspecting a sample 
ot wheat. If the gold dust looks clean and fair, it is 
poured into the scales and weighted. If it looks dirty 
and has rock and sand in it, they take some in the 
palm, and stir it carelessly around with a forefinger 
and determine its value. Very seldom, however, ex- 
cept in exchanging for coin, is any deduction made. 
Every time it is weighed something is lost, and the 
business streets of Sacramento will, in a few years, be 
worth digging up and washing for gold. . . . 

[In January, after a few days' clear weather, a storm 
brought a deluge of rain on the 8th, and soon muddy 
waters swirled through the fragile tents and ornate 
gambling halls. By the night of the 9th, Sacramento 
City was about four-fifths submerged. 

I Three days later it was reported that "the water is 


i" 'F.'i :r < 

still rising. Tents, houses, boxes, barrels, horses, 
mules, and cattle are sweeping by with the swollen 
torrent that is now spread out in a vast sea farther than 
the eye can reach. There are few two-story houses, 
and as the water rose, which it did at the rate of six 
inches an hour, men were compelled to get outside. 
Today there is no first floor in the city uncovered, and 
but tor the vessels in the river, now crowded with 
people, there is no telling what numbers might have 
perished." To the upper story of a hospital "men 
come in boats, begging to be taken in, or bring some 
valuables for safekeeping. ... A lone woman, sick 
and destitute, is curtained off in a corner of the 
room. ... A few patients are muttering in delirium. 
Some are dying on the floor. Others, dead, are sewed 
up in blankets and sunk in the water in a room on the 
first floor. 

["All sorts of means are in use to get about — 
bakers' troughs, rafts and India-rubber beds. There is 
no sound of gongs or dinner bells in the city. The 
yelling tor help by some men on a roof or clinging to 
some wreck, the howling of a dog abandoned by his 
master, the boisterous revelry of men in boats who 
find all they want to drink floating free about them, 
make the scene one never to be forgotten. After dark 
we see only one or two lights in the second city of 
California. . . . 

["Hundreds of thousands ofdollars in merchandise 
were wrested from the grasp of the merchants and 
traders of the city by the sweeping currents that ran 

through the streets, in some places with irresistible 
force." "Instead of the people wearing long faces as 
you would suppose, the city never was more lively. 
The streets were filled with boats, and everyone was 
for having a frolic. " "Small boats brought almost any 
price on sale or hire. A common-sized whaleboat 
brought $30 per hour and sold readily for $1 ,000. But 
in an incredibly short time every particle of lumber 
that would answer for boat or raft-making was thus 
appropriated, and in a few days the people were 
enabled to emigrate to the adjacent hills." "Those 
who had boats have made nice fortunes with them by 
ferrying from town out to dry land, charging from $5 
to $8." 

[Contrary to the apparently frivolous reaction of 
many, the flood was in fact a major calamity — to be 
borne not only by the residents of Sacramento City 
but also by thousands of miners whose provisions 
would soon greatly increase in price. And the flood 
would leave another legacy: "What a smell! It cer- 
tainly will be sickly here this summer." 

[While the people of Sacramento City suffered and 
struggled in the aftermath of the great flood, William 
Swain, his friends and hundreds of other miners on 
the South Fork of the Feather River passed their time 
in their cabins when the weather was at its worst. On 
good days they worked on their claims to prepare for 
the time when the high water of the river would 
recede and they could at last dig for gold in the 
riverbed itself. 


By the night of January g, 1850, Sacramento City was 
about four-fifths submerged. No first floor in the city was 
uncovered by the deluge of water. 
California Historical Society, San Francisco 

[On January 12 Swain continued the letter to 
George that he had started on the 6th. ] 

January 12 

We have had heavy rains and high water, but the 
weather has now cleared off fine, like Spring. And 
spring is here, for the mountain oaks are putting out 
their leaves and all things are assuming a green hue. 
We arc in hopes of having dry weather soon — then, 
"you see!" 

["Many of the miners here are moving up the river 
to find locations for their summer's work, and we 
hear of thousands at Sacramento City who are all 
ready to come up as soon as the rainy season is over, 
which will probably be in the month of February . We 
see by the papers that there is a tremendous number 
of emigrants intending to come out to California this 
season from the States. Thousands will be dis- 

It is just for me to say that if my health is good and I 
do not have extraordinary good luck, I may not be 
home till next Fall. Mr. Bailey is well and sends his 
love to his family. . . . 

February 17, 1850 

South Fork of Feather River 

Twenty-five miles from Long's Bar 

Dear Sabrina, 

I take advantage of an opportunity to send this 
letter to San Francisco to send you intelligence of my 
good health, but not of great fortune realized. You 
have probably ere this received both of my letters, the 
first in December and the other in January directed to 
George, by which you are apprised of my arrival in 
California, my health, and prospects up to that 
time. . . . 

We have had much rainy weather and high water 

which has prevented us from doing much of any 
mining. But for the last two weeks we have had fine, 
clear weather. And such weather! So clear, so warm, 
such transparent skies. But I confess that this country 
with all its attractions has little but its gold that af- 
fords me gratification. I am a stranger in a strange 
land, with the bonds of friendship, the endearments 
of the home of youth and the fond ties of kindred all 
exerting their influences upon me, and like the pole to 
the needle, they attract all my thoughts and prefer- 
ences back to the land of my home and family. 

["Though there is a free, openhearted way with all 
here, yet there is not the same feeling of interest in 
one another as exists in society at home. Here all 
know and feel that our acquaintance is of short dura- 
tion, and almost all expecting some day to return to 
the States, do not naturally feel desirous to become an 
intimate with those from whom they are soon to be 
separated. It is something like a stagecoach or steam- 
boat acquaintance. . . . Probably nine out of ten of 
the miners are calculating someday to return to the 
States, and their stay here will be prolonged or short- 
ened by their success or the demands of duty and love 
for those left behind them. Some will stay for years, 
adding gold to gold, and their avaricious souls will 
hardly be satisfied. Some will be content with a 
smaller amount and will hasten home to enjoy the 
pleasures awaiting them in the society of those they 
love. Some without a care or thought, gamble and 
lose their gold as fast as they obtain it.") 

I cannot express the disappointment I have experi- 
enced in not as yet having received any letters from 
either you or George. I am as well satisfied that there 
is at least a dozen for me at Sacramento City as I am of 
my existence. I have sent after them by three express 
carriers, and failed to get any on account of the inabil- 
ity of the postmaster of that place to perform the 
duties of the office and no provision for clerks being 
made by the government. The enormous wages re- 


California History 

quired by persons in this country will not permit the 
postmaster to employ help on his own responsi- 
bility. . . . 

As I left you but little money, I have felt great 
anxiety about affairs at home, fearing that you may 
not have received money sufficient to furnish the 
necessaries and comforts of life. Were it in my power 
to send you some few hundreds at this time, it would 
relieve my anxiety and afford me much pleasure; but 
the facts of my arriving here after mining had ceased, 
having to live at exceeding high rates, and having 
done but little during the wet weather have prevented 
me from laying up any amount. I can send money 
home by Adams & Co.'s Express to any city or 
village for ten percent, with insurance, and shall 
transmit you some as soon as I can. 

You will of course ask: Have you done nothing yet 
in mining? Yes, I have done considerable. I have 
panned along the banks of the river with various 
success. My first day's work in the business was an 
ounce; the second was $35, and the third was $92. 1 
picked up a lump worth $51 which cost me no more 
labor than stooping down to take it up. But such 
days' work as these are not a common thing. . . . 

But the dry season and good roads are now here, 
and prices — these humbug prices — must cease. Al- 
ready boots can be had for $16 per pair, and flour has 
fallen to 45 cents per pound. Although we do not live 
quite as high as we did, we live better at lower rates. It 
is also necessary to say that I have spent whole days in 
tramping along these rocky hills and shores and not 
found a shilling's worth of gold. 

Our dam is finished, and the river, which is high 
and will probably be so for some months, is running 
through our race leaving its old channel bare. We 
have to remove some three feet of gravel and stone 
before we find the foundation rock where gold al- 
ways lies. On account of the water which leaches 
from the race to the channel , we have not been able to 

test it but shall do it in a short time. We have found 
some gold, but in consequence of the thickness of the 
stones on the bedrock, it will not be so profitable as 
we expected. . . . 

Mr. Bailey and Hutchinson are both well. Mr. 
Bailey sends his love to his family. He is certainly the 
best companion I have ever formed an acquaintance 
with. Give my love to Mother and George and kiss 
the girl for Father. I shall write as often as I can. 

Yours as ever, 

March 17, 1850 

Sabbath Afternoon, 4 o'clock 

South Fork 

Dear George, 

How do you do, Mr. Officer at the Bridge! [George 
was appointed to the local customs office. ] Good luck 
to you and may joy surround you in your new busi- 
ness. By the by, I feel as though I was at home. The 
express man has just arrived and brought me all the 
letters you have written, at least a package for each 
month from May to October, also January contain- 
ing yours and Sabrina's of that date, and yours of 
December, and some twelve November and Decem- 
ber papers, for which I paid him an ounce. O!! 

. . . There are many subjects mentioned in your 
numerous letters which I would like to answer in this 
but cannot for want of time, so will answer them in 
my next. I appreciate your advice upon the principles 
of conduct and shall ever endeavor to be governed by 
them [George had urged William to read the fifth, 
sixth and seventh chapters of St. Matthew], for cer- 
tainly this is a land of demoralization. 

Last fall I was proud of the miners as a body, both 
for their honesty and their sobriety, but the rapidity 
with which they have retrograded only proves more 
clearly the necessity of religious restraint and the 


In the Diggings 

great influence of well-organized and moral society. 
Drinking has become very prevalent, swearing a 
habitual custom, and gambling has no equal in the 
annals of history. It has already reached as far as 
Feather River, and some of the boys who came across 
the plains in our train are in it, though they professed 
to be Christians when home. 

["Vice seems more alluring here. It comes ... to 
be a substitute for common amusement. The miner 
has not the society of the home circle to cheer and 
enliven him. He has no longer the friends, the inno- 
cent recreations to which he has been accustomed. 
On the Sabbath morning no church is open. . . .No 
mother or sister or beloved wife can cheer him." 
"Sabbath days here are spent by miners mostly hunt- 
ing, prospecting for gold, and gambling. Very little 
attention is paid to morals. . . . From good authority 
we are told that there are several Methodist ministers 
at Sacramento City and San Francisco whose busi- 
ness is now dealing monte and playing at different 
games for the purpose of gain." 

["Wherever rich diggings are heard of, gamblers 
are sure to go. They are always on the travel. They 
visit all the mining villages and set up their roulette 
and card tables and play euchre, brag, vincture 
(vingt-et-un) and monte, and in fact all kinds of 
games to suit their dupes." 

["Their diggings are in the pockets of the miners 
and not in the pockets of the (river) bars. . . .They 
offer the simple and the foolish as good a chance to 
lose the results of months of labor and privation in an 
hour as is done in the more showy and magnificent 
hells in the city. . . . Generally a few days spent in 
one place is sufficient to drain the font of the gambl- 
ing miner's stream, and when all have 'come down 
with the dust' who will pay tribute to folly, the 
gambler rolls up his blanket, shoulders his pile, and 
climbs to another bar."] 

. . . On the subject of religion, I have not paid the 

attention to it that I determined when leaving the 
States, but I have preserved my Bible and have read it 
often. ["There seems to be little disposition to main- 
tain religious worship here. The thoughts of the 
people are entirely preoccupied with drinking, 
gambling, or getting gold out of the earth." "Reli- 
gion and religious services, like everything else in 
California, is singular and unnatural. There is preach- 
ing occasionally by some Doctor of Divinity or gold- 
hunting minister; but all denominational cast or char- 
acter is kept carefully out of view — in short, it is a 
kind of mongrel preaching, a little of everything and 
not much of anything. . . ."] 

Four weeks ago we thought the rain over, but 
March has been the worst month of the season. The 
waters are up, and our prospects for mining soon are 
dark, at least for two months to come. ["Very few on 
this river will be ready in that time, though some 
think that a week is sufficient to finish their work. On 
most of the claims the projected operations arc en- 
tirely insufficient to drain the river. . . . Some, who 
will fail, are making extensive preparations — in 
talk — and really doing but very little. . . .The 
wildest schemes of human fancy arc here mere com- 
mon, everyday, matter-of-course speculations."] 

I am very sorry to hear that little Sister was sick, 
and also that it was necessary that calomel should be 
given. I dread that medicine and hope you will not 
have to give her any more. 

But I can write no longer if I send this by this mail , 
so farewell at present. 

Your brother. 

PS. Mr. H. and B. are well and send their respects to 
their friends. I have not heard a word from John since 
last Fall. If you know where he is, send word S 
Eaton is at Bidwell's. 


The Giants & 

v ... -T3V,v ■ 

* ■■>-■•■ -. 

A slickered "piper" watches a giant, or monitor, anchored by boulders, blast up to two 
tons of water per second under high pressure at a yielding mountainside. 

Caltrans, Sacramento 

Dewey & Nola Mosier 

the Mountain 

Mining Machines 
Make a Highway 

Highway 299 traverses California's northern moun- 
tain wilderness from the seacoast at Areata east to 
Redding at the northern end of the Central Valley. 
Passing through the rugged canyon of the Trinity 
River, the highway leaves the river gorge about a 
hundred miles inland at Junction City and begins a 
long ascent toward the transverse ridge of Oregon 
Mountain five miles distant. Three miles beyond the 
ridge lies Weaverville, historic gold town and Trinity 
County seat. 

A few hundred yards west of the ridge, the road 
widens for a vista point marked by a familiar brass- 
plaqued, native stone monument and a rusted iron 
relic. The plaque informs readers that this is the site of 
the historic La Grange Mine, one of the largest in the 
world; 1 it says nothing about the strange relic. 

Surrounding the vista point is a vast area of bare 
bedrock. Trees are sparse, and a deep chasm falls 
away from the highway. The view west down the 
chasm tojunction City is dominated by a gray-white 
river of dry and sunbleached rock. Uphill to the east 
is a visible notch in the barricade-like ridge. Although 
it looks small in comparison to the mountains, 
chasm, and rock river below, the gap is 2,000 feet 
wide at its top, more than 200 feet deep, and a half- 
mile long. A mere forty years ago, there was neither a 
notch nor a highway passing through it. 

Recognizing that roads are fundamental to the ad- 
ministration of government as well as other civil 
necessities, in 1909 the California Legislature defined 
the state's north-south routes as "trunks" and the 
east-west branches as "laterals" or "County Seat Lat- 
erals." In 1915 the legislature authorized construction 
of the lateral between the coast trunk (Highway 101) 

and the valley trunk (old Highway 99, now Interstate 
5 or I-5) connecting the county scats of Humboldt, 
Trinity, and Shasta counties. By 1930 the "Trinity 
Lateral" had been extended east from Eureka tojunc- 
tion City and west from Redding to Weaverville. 

Closing the gap in the state highway from Junction 
City to Weaverville, which was being filled only by a 
rough country road dating from the gold rush era, 
required a decision by the California Highway 
Commission about the best route. The highway com- 
mission had three apparent choices: to improve the 
old county road, to go southeast up the Trinity River 
to Douglas City, or to go east over the ridge of 
Oregon Mountain to Weaverville. 

The first alternative was readily eliminated. In the 
laconic language of the highway engineers, this route 

offered many severe handicaps to construction, to mainte- 
nance . . . among which were . . . excessive distance, 
tortuous alignment on long sustained grades with no 
prospect of future improvement, deep cuts in unstable 
formations, and a road on shady north slopes through a 
heavy snow area. 2 

The second choice along the Trinity River gorge 
would bypass the Trinity County seat of Weaver- 
ville, thus being inconsistent with the legislature's 
intent. Therefore, on April 29, 1932, the highway 
commission decided on the third alternative over 
Oregon Mountain. 

In making this choice, the commission was well 

The authors are life-long Califomians who were employed by 
the California Division of Highways, now Caltrans. Mr Muster 
lived in Weaverville during the Oregon Mountain road-building 




The junction City-to-Weaverville gap in Highway 2qq 
running east from Eureka to Redding was closed by crossing 
La Grange mining property and rugged Oregon Ridge. 
Caltrans, Sacramento 

aware that the ridge was too high for a road to climb 
and much too big to move with the steamshovels and 
graders then available. It also knew that tunneling 
through the ridge would be extremely costly. But the 
commission was also aware that a unique set of cir- 
cumstances existed which, if brought together, could 
solve an otherwise impossible problem. 

The Highway 299 construction project was 
planned and accomplished by the California Division 
of Highways under the direction of F.W. Hazel- 
wood, the District 2 engineer at Redding. His brain- 
child, which became known as the "Hazelwood 
Cut," gained world-wide recognition in engineering 
circles. While official publications and trade reports 
documented the fascinating facts, the complete rec- 
ord of the feat exists only in assorted engineering 
reports, in issues of California Highways and Public 
Works Magazine, and in the brittle, yellowing pages 
of the Weekly Trinity Journal. The enormous highway 
construction project described therein utilized a con- 
struction method absolutely unique in the annals of 
road building. 3 


.ny of the three possible routes for Highway 299 
had to cross La Grange mining property. The La 
Grange Mine, a consolidation of many mines dating 
from the 1850s, comprised several thousand acres 
including almost all of Oregon Mountain, Oregon 
Ridge, and Oregon Gulch. Previous hydraulic gold 
mining operations between 1862 and 191 8 by the La 
Grange Mine and its predecessors had already re- 
moved half of the 200 million cubic yards of gold- 
bearing gravels below the ridge, but the saddle 
through which the highway would pass was still 

Years of mining this enormous amount of gravel 

had removed the support of overburden higher on 
the mountain, and a massive landslide of millions of 
cubic yards of non-gold bearing earth had covered 
the mine. The costs of removing the slide to continue 
mining were prohibitive; consequently, in 1918, 
operations at the La Grange were suspended indefi- 
nitely. The world had been at war, and money and 
materials were scarce. The mine, its ditches, flumes, 
and equipment became idle and then fell into disre- 

In 1933, surveys, test borings, and geological 
studies made at the site indicated to state highway 
engineers that the slide could be economically re- 
moved and a deep cut made through the ridge to 
provide a satisfactory foundation and grade for a 
highway. They also determined that "the La Grange 
Placer Mines Ltd., owners of all of Oregon Hill 
[Mountain] and Gulch area and the water system and 
mining equipment, were willing to lease at a nominal 
rental and to grant rights for spoil on either side of 
Oregon Hill." 4 Furthermore, the engineers enthusi- 
astically urged that "all that was necessary was to 
repair [the facilities] . . . install pipelines and giants 
. . . and start digging." 5 

While the eagerness of the engineers to start dig- 
ging is apparent, their reference to "giants" is obscure 
today. The strange relic at the Oregon Mountain 
vista point is, in fact, a "monitor," which resembles 
nothing quite so much as a primitive cannon. Built 
by the Joshua Hendy Company of San Francisco 
during the last half of the nineteenth century, this 
water cannon and others like it were used in hydraulic 
mining for gold. Miners have always called the mon- 
itors "giants." 

About fifteen feet long and weighing more than a 
ton, the monitor swivclcd on a hollow steel ball joint, 
or gooseneck. It was connected to a 15 or 18-inch 
steel pipe leading to a water reservoir located hun- 
dreds of feet higher than the monitor. Under very 


California History 

great pressure, the water passed through the goose- 
neck and down the spout or barrel of the monitor into 
a replaceable nozzle from 6 to 9 inches in diameter, 
depending upon the amount of water available and 
the effect desired. The moveable nozzle was 
equipped with a control handle. Turning the nozzle 
caused the monitor to move in the opposite direction 
from the force of the discharged water. At two tons 
per second, the weight and inertia of the moving 
water were so great that without the moveable nozzle 
an operator could not have directed the stream of 
flowing water. 

In the hands of skilled operators, known as "pip- 
ers", the monitor could be precisely aimed in almost 
all directions. When the reservoir was fully opened, a 
monitor could shoot a continuous projectile of water 
500 feet at speeds from 80 to 100 miles an hour. The 
incredible force of the water could batter apart a 
mountain, turn it to mud, and sluice it away. Pipers 
used the giants like lasers, carving the earth apart 
with hard to believe effectiveness. 

These awesome machines had first gone to work 
on Oregon Mountain in 1862. In the quest for gold, 
they persisted effectively for the next fifty-six years 
until the massive land slide covered the rich gravels of 
the mine. Then, on February 22, 1934, after nearly 
two decades of idleness, the same giants returned to 
work on the mountain, this time not to find gold but 
to wash away a path for Highway 299. 

Water was still the ammunition for the giants, and 
they used millions and millions of gallons of it. Rain 
and snow supplied the water, so winter and spring 
were the only times when the giants were able to 
work. 6 

In the course of its mining operations, the old La 
Grange had constructed forty-one miles of aqueducts 
to bring water to the mine. One of these water sys- 
tems came twenty-nine miles from the headwaters of 
Stuarts Fork, a tributary of the Trinity River. The 

water flowed by gravity around the slopes of canyons 
and ravines, crossed them on fiumes, or plunged into 
and shot out of them in inverted siphon pipelines. It 
took nine hours for water to reach the equalizing 
storage reservoir at the mine. 7 

Called "The Sweepstakes," a second smaller sys- 
tem carried water for twelve miles from sources on 
East and West Weaver creeks. While its capacity was 
less than the Stuarts Fork system, the system would 
carry enough water, engineers predicted, for the 
highway project. Accordingly, they rehabilitated 
The Sweepstakes, constructed a new reservoir with 
nearly 500 million gallons capacity, laid pipelines to 
the giants, and readied the system for "hydraulick- 

When assembled, the operating system consisted 
of a gravity-flow water supply to a reservoir located 
several hundred feet above the working level of the 
giants. (The vertical distance, or "head", between the 
pipeline inlet and the giants averaged about 500 feet 
for the highway project). Stored water was metered 
into steel pipes tapering from 30 inches to 26 inches 
and finally to 18 or 15 inches at the giants. To with- 
stand the tremendous water pressures created, all 
turns or angles in the pipelines and giants were 
weighted down with many tons of boulders. With- 
out this anchoring, even the steel pipes and the one- 
ton giants would whip about like unmanned fire- 

Operating a giant required three men: one at the 
reservoir controlling the water supply, the piper at 
the giant directing its stream, and a watchman com- 
municating between the other two. On the average, 
twenty-one men were employed on the Oregon 
Mountain hydraulic project. Since the project was 
conceived during the Great Depression when unem- 
ployment was high, each man was permitted to work 
only thirty hours per week so that as many people 
as possible could have jobs . To maximize the use of 


The longgrade oj Highway 299 follows the rock 

river and climbs to the newly deforested and clearly 

notched Oregon Ridge. The gap is 2,000 feet 

wide at its top, more than 200 feet deep, 

and a hall-mile long. Caltrans, Sacramento 

Down from the bedrock of Oregon Ridge is the dry 

and sun-bleached "rock river" of boulders (at left) 

created by the giants' relentless blasting. The thin 

ribbon oj Highway 299J0II0WS the river. 

Caltrans, Sacramento 

California History 

available water, work continued through the winter 
night under floodlights. 

Hydraulic excavation, whether used in mining or 
road building, is far from haphazard. It is carefully 
planned and deliberately executed. To be wholly ef- 
fective, hydraulieking required very high banks of 
earth and a large, steep discharge channel through 
which the debris and tailings could be washed away. 
The giants had to be placed so that their force could 
undercut the banks. Then, when the banks lost their 
support, they collapsed. The impact of their fall 
caused them to shatter and crumble, mix with water, 
and flow away in the tailing race. When house-sized 
boulders occasionally blocked the tailrace, they could 
be blasted apart, and the giants, often working in 
teams, would then wash the remains downstream. 

Under the relentless pressure of the giants, which 
began in early 1934, Oregon Mountain's high banks 
receded. The giants were then moved forward, and 
the attack began again. During more than five years' 
work on the Hazelwood Cut, three main giants were 
moved a total of ninety-four times, and two secon- 
dary giants were moved twice. 

Toward the end of the project, the mountain sud- 
denly resisted the advance of the giants at an impen- 
etrable formation which even the giants could not cut 
through. From previous test borings, the engineers 
knew that bedrock would block the path of the high- 
way here. So prepared, they bored a 600-foot powder 
tunnel along the route of the highway centerline, 
loaded the hole with blasting powder, backfilled the 
tunnel, and exploded the charge. On December 2, 
1937, the Weekly Trinity Journal headlined the event, 
"43-ton Blast of Dynamite!" Townspeople in Weav- 
er ville and Junction City had been forewarned, and 
no damage was reported. 

On the mountain, however, the story was differ- 
ent. When the dust cleared away and the echo of the 
blast had died, the bedrock obstruction looked to be 

intact, but its solidity had been broken. 

The giants went back to work. For five years, four 
months, and eight days, they had carved relentlessly. 
They stripped the mountain of almost 11 million 
cubic yards of surface armor, then broke its back. On 
June 30, 1939, the notch through which the highway 
would pass was completed. The work of the giants 
was done. 


comparison of the relative costs of excavation 
by hydraulic operations and the existing mechanical 
methods of the day suggests some surprising conclu- 
sions. A steam shovel, with its attendant laborers and 
dump trucks, had the maximum capacity of moving 
125 cubic yards each working day. The giants collec- 
tively could move as much as 3 ,000 cubic yards per 
day and averaged 1 , 300 cubic yards per day . In 193 5 it 
cost about 60 cents to move a cubic yard with a steam 
shovel; the giants on Oregon Mountain did it for 2.47 
cents, less than five percent of conventional costs. 8 
Of course, the giants did not work alone. There 
were men — hydraulic excavation superintendents, 
hydraulic monitor men (pipers), skilled fusion weld- 
ers, highway equipment operators, and laborers. The 
first two state personnel classifications were created 
especially for this project. Once the positions were 
established, they were readily filled by local men. In 
the heart of gold mining country, experienced, 
willing men, many of whom had learned their skills 
at the La Grange Mine, were eager to resume their 
trade. The high regard in which they were held by the 
project engineers is suggested in the project's final 

Weather conditions were at times very bad for outside 
work, but this project was all the more active when such 
conditions prevailed as snow, rain and wind, with the cold 


Giants & the Mountain 

that goes along with it. . . . Throughout the project there 
was little complaint from the employees about weather. 
They were mostly a husky, independent group of men 
who could be relied on to do their work without super- 
vision. 9 

In addition to area residents, the convicts of Val- 
dor, Camp 25 of the state prison labor system, made 
significant contributions to the hydraulic excavation 
project. For the last three years of work, the prisoners 
performed the heavy labor of moving the giants and 
the pipelines. They lifted, carried, and set the boul- 
ders to anchor the giants in place, and in addition 
built the approach roads to the Hazelwood Cut from 
Junction City and from Weaverville. The engineers 
reported that the men "learned very fast the most 
efficient way to fill their duties/' 10 

It is now almost 120 years since the first gold- 
seeking giant began its advance on Oregon Moun- 
tain. It is also 40 years since the last road-building 
giant broke the mountain's back. Today's visible 
bare bedrock was once covered with eleven million 
cubic yards of earth — almost enough to have built 
the Oroville Dam. The chasm visible from the vista 
point is the void left after 100 million yards of dirt 
were excavated for gold by the La Grange Mine — 
enough to have built all of the state's earthfill dams. 
The rock river below is made of the mining tailings. 
It is four miles long, a half mile at its widest point, and 
of undetermined depth. Somewhere, perhaps 400 
feet beneath its silent surface, are the remnants of the 
gold rush town of Oregon City. 

The result of all the effort is the modern highway 
with its long tangents, sweeping curves, moderate 
grades, and wide pavements. Californians can take its 
excellence for granted, but unless they stop at the 
vista point and learn the story, it would be hardly 
believable that the strange rusted relic sitting nearby 
and its mates were responsible for all of this. 

In the 1930s, no public hearings, no environmental 

studies, no objections, no endorsements were needed 
for a highway project. The giants were simply pow- 
erful allies to man's objectives, and they did their 
work mightily. Embarking on the project in 1934, 
district engineer F.W. Hazelwood reflected, "Some 
of the work of the Cretaceous age is about to be 
undone in the twinkling of an eye, as geologists 
reckon time, and traffic will flow through Oregon 
Hill on or near the bed made by a stream millions of 
years ago." 11 He might have added, "But it will take 
the help of giants." 


1 . California claims the world's two largest hydraulic gold 
mines, the La Grange in Trinity County and the Malakotf 
Diggins in Nevada County. While the La Grange was the 
largest in land area, time worked, and yardage removed, 
both mines apparently produced the same amount of gold. 

2. California Highways and Public Works Magazine, August 1939, 

3 . "Some minor hydraulic work has been done on highways in 
Washington and Florida, and to a limited extent in removing 
slides and sand cuts in California. Water tor all these opera- 
tions was pumped, and the discharge nozzle was not over 4 
inches. " California Highways and Public Works Magazine, May 

1934, P- 29- 

4. "Final Report for the Hydraulic Excavation of Secondary 
State Highway Between Junction City and Weaverville tor 
1.8 miles over Oregon Mountain Ridge in Trinity ( )ounty," 

January 6, iQ4i,CHP4. 

5 . California Highways and Public Works Magazine, May 1 9 3 S . p ■ 

6. State law in 1933 permitted hydraulic mining in Trinity 
County between October 15 and July 15 to avoid contami- 
nating rivers during spawning runs. This season was later 
reduced to December 1 to July 1. 

7. Tales from the Mountaineer (Rotary ( lub ofWcaverville, 
1964), p. 61. 

8. The massive slide was not auriferous, so no attempt 
made to recover gold. 

9. "Final Report, "January 6, 1941 , ('.HP/ 18. 

10. "Final Report, "January 6, 1941. (FIR 19 Lasting almost 60 
years from 1915 to 1974, the prison labor system achieved tin 
construction ot many ot the state's "showcase" routes in- 
cluding the Merced River Route, gateway to Yosemite 

11. California Highways and Publii Works Magazine, May 1934. 
p. 29. 


Marvin R. Nathan 

San Francisco's Fin de Siecle 

On a windswept, rainy San Francisco evening in 
early January 1894, four young men stood in the 
darkness of lower Market Street before a cast-iron 
statue of one Dr. Henry D. Cogswell, San Francisco 
dentist and temperance zealot. The good doctor him- 
self had donated his likeness to the city and, in keep- 
ing with his teetotaling philosophy, had equipped it 
with a fresh water fountain so that passersby might 
slake their thirst on nature's pure fluid, rather than 
what innumerable saloons all over town were offer- 
ing in its place. 

To many people in San Francisco, and especially to 
several of the city's young artists, the statue was an 
embarrassment. Not only was it molded according 
to the most cliched Victorian artistic canons of pom- 
pous and overstated public dignity, but it also rep- 
resented a most self-satisfied and obtrusive sort of late 
nineteenth century moralism. It clearly attempted to 
impose a narrow view of virtue upon the citizens of 
so cosmopolitan a city as San Francisco by foisting 
temperance-laced water on them (the drinking cup 
was strategically placed in Cogswell's outstretched 
hand). This indeed was a smug, clumsy monument 
to Philistinism! What made matters worse was that at 
its prominent location on Lower Market, the statue 
was viewed daily by thousands of commuters walk- 
ing and riding between the old Ferry Building and the 
city's business district. 

With such considerations in mind, the four young 
men had procured a long length of clothesline which 
they proceeded to secure around the cast-iron Cogs- 
well's neck. With one mighty heave they felled the 
likeness of the virtuous dentist and, since no one ever 

The author is associate professor of humanities at San Francisco 
State University where he coordinates the San Francisco Interdis- 
ciplinary Studies Program . His recent work includes an article on 
Gold Rush culture in San Francisco and a film on the 1894 
Midwinter Fair. He is currently writing a book on early San 
Francisco architects. 

y Mr' lit 


Bohemian Renaissance 



qtgpp *M» ^-?* **** 



bothered to re-erect the statue, put an end to Dr. 
Cogswell's Market Street temperance campaign in 
perpetuity. 1 This late night act marked the symbolic 
beginning of a San Francisco renaissance in art and 
literature which lasted for a decade. 

The two ringleaders of the young wrecking crew 
were Frank Gelett Burgess and Bruce Porter. Bur- 
gess, twenty-seven years old in 1894, was a Bosto- 
nian who traced his lineage back to the Mayflower. 
Raised by puritanical Unitarian parents, he spent his 
youth dodging his mother's moral indictments, 
roaming Boston back streets, sketching, listening to 
Gilbert and Sullivan, and reading everything that he 
could get his hands on — Dickens, Scott, and Lewis 
Carroll, among others. "When I was four years old," 
he later recalled, "I was passionately fond of read- 

Burgess entered the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, where he majored in civil engineering 
for a peculiarly romantic reason: "I saw those pictures 
of men triangulating across streams and started to 
dream about tunneling through the Andes." 3 After 
graduating, he was offered a job in California as a 
draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad, a job 
which brought him to San Francisco in 1888. Burgess 
could only tolerate the boredom of railroad mapping 
for three years, and in 1891, he obtained a job as an 

Xavier Martinez 's murals at the popular arum ' restaurant Coppa 's 
show a fusion of Lcs Jcuncs and the Bohemians who followed soon 
after. From left behind table, Burgess is carrying one of his Coop 
children 's books; painter Martinez is seated; poet George Sterling stands 
with laurel wreath on his head; Porter Gamett, in profile, talks to 
journalist "Maisie" Criswold; writer Henry Lafter sits at head of table; 
and painter Maynard Di.xoti stands with cowboy hat in rear. In (ore- 
ground is Perry Newberry, founder and future mayor of Carmel-by-the- 
Sea. The Coppa Murals by Warren Unna (Book Club of( Cali- 
fornia 1952) 


instructor of topographical and freehand drawing at 
the University of California in Berkeley. During his 
three years of teaching, he developed his own artistic 
abilities and, through extensive reading, became an 
expert in French and Italian verse forms of the Ren- 
aissance, old French, eighteenth-century English 
usage, and American slang idioms. At the same time, 
Burgess was also forming valuable friendships with 
other young writers and artists in the Bay Area 
whom he had met at the University or through the 
Unitarian Church in San Francisco. In Berkeley he 
befriended aspiring novelist Frank Norris and artist 
Ernest Peixotto. Through Unitarian cultural groups, 
he became acquainted with artists Bruce Porter and 
Florence Lundborg, architect Willis Polk, as well as 
esthete, historian, and man-about-town Porter Gar- 
nett. 4 

With surprising swiftness Burgess shed his New 
England reserve, finding his life in California increas- 
ingly intoxicating. "It was not till I left Boston and 
went to California that I cast aside forever [my 
mother's] intelligently modified Sabbatarianism, 
chastity, temperance, rigid truthfulness and habit of 
churchgoing." What he had discovered instead was a 
glorious city which 

has become a fetish, a cult. Under its blue skies and driving 
fogs is bred the most ardent loyalty in these United States. 
San Francisco is most magnificently herself of any Ameri- 
can city, and San Franciscans, in consequence, are them- 
selves with an abounding perfervid sincerity. Faults they 
have, lurid, pungent, staccato, but hypocrisy is not one of 
them. The vice is never necessary. 

The Lark siajj in 189b included (from left) 
illustrator and author liruest Peixotto, (jelett 
Burgess, Brine Porter, Florence Lundborg, 
and Porter Gamett. The Wave, April 10, 
1M97, id Gelett Burgess Papers, Bancroft 
Library, University of California, 

The energy and freedom of life Burgess found in his 
new city created an environment "of surprises, magic 
and madness and rank enthusiasms" in part, he be- 
lieved, because of its vibrant gold rush past and in 
part because of its isolation from the rest of the 
world. 5 


nee the names of the Cogswell statue culprits 
had been made public, the president of the University 
of California let it be known that he would welcome 
the resignation of drawing instructor Burgess. Ac- 
cordingly, injuneof 1894, the young Bostonian took 
a job as a furniture designer in San Francisco where, 
for the first time, he was free to explore the fecund 
possibilities of a life lived for art in a city of prodi- 
gious energies and great tolerance. The Bohemian- 
ism of Henri Murget and Charles Baudelaire in Pans 
and the Estheticism of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey 
Beardsley in London loomed large in his mind. 

Burgess' close friend and fellow Cogswell con- 
spirator, Bruce Porter, was a San Francisco native 
one year older in age. Unlike his compatriot, Porter 
had left school at fourteen and was self-educated in 
art and literature. In the late 1880s, his youthful wan- 
derings of self-discovery had brought him to Eng- 
land where he visited the studio of painter and stained 
glass designer Edward Burne-Jones. Burne-Jones 
had already distinguished himself as chief designer 


Guarding lower Market Street was the infamous Cogswell 

statue urging San Franciscans to temperance. Its demise 

inadvertently freed Gelett Burgess to seek Bohemia in San 

Francisco. Bancroft Library, University of California 

for the furniture firm of William Morris, Pre-Rapha- 
elite writer and father of the Arts and Crafts Move- 
ment which was dedicated to opposing industrialized 
blandness in everyday design by means of the lavish 
use of Medieval decorative patterns. His work led 
Burne-Jones into new esthetic grounds, and when 
Porter visited him, the artist was already regarded as 
the leading English practitioner of "The New Art," 
or Art Nouveau. The young San Franciscan was 
deeply impressed, and when he returned to Califor- 
nia, his head was brimming with new ideas derived 
from his contact with Arts and Crafts and Art Nou- 
veau styles. 

Porter, who in later years established himself as the 
Bay Area's leading landscape designer, stained glass 
maker, and muralist, settled in at a San Francisco 
apartment on Jackson Street which he turned into an 
artist's garret on the European model. In manner, 
dress, and even in long, drooping mustache, he emu- 
lated his artistic hero, Robert Louis Stevenson, who 
in his brief visit to the city in 1879 and 1880 had 
established himself as the quintessential Bohemian 
for many young San Francisco writers and artists. 
After all, what could be more Bohemian than the 
heroism of a life filled with poverty, ill-health, and 
social alienation, but made vibrant by artistic creativ- 
ity and deep sensibility? What an unusual sight the 
Burgess-Porter duo must have made about town in 
the mid-i890s, Burgess five- feet-four-inches tall and 
clad in knee-length cape bedecked with an eighteen 
inch lapel carnation a la the redoubtable London Dec- 
adent Oscar Wilde, in tandem with the tall, lanky 
Porter attired in properly sullen Bohemian artist's 
garb, shoulders and mustache adroop. What a strik- 
ing image of cultural eclecticism \nfm de siede San 
Francisco! 6 

Burgess and Porter had met through mutual ac- 
quaintances in the local Unitarian church. They 
became fast friends, spending hours talking about art 

and life (quite probably in that order) in Porter's 
apartment at 606 Jackson Street. To Burgess, Porter 
was "the Burne-Jones of the Pacific Coast — a sort of 
cross between Poe and Stevenson." 7 Porter was 
"[my] intellectual mentor, the primary inspiration of 
whatever I have done, or shall do in Literature, the 
most picturesque, romantic, stimulating figure in the 
new California." 8 The admiration was mutual, and 
for Porter, Burgess was all energy, curiosity, and 
wit, a man whose mind abounded with ideas about 
and knowledge of Medieval and Renaissance verse, 
eighteenth-century English literary journals. 
Romantic and Victorian novels, and the myriad 
new artistic and literary movements appearing with 
exciting rapidity in the late nineteenth century 

Porter, the quiet, reflective, visually imaginative 
artist and craftsman, and Burgess, the quick-witted, 
sharp-tongued savant who was more comfortable 


California History 

Calling themselves "Lesjeunes" 
( "the young ones"), they identified 
their own youth with the youth and 
vitality of San Francisco and with a 
fresh, unjaded approach to the fine 
arts and literature. 

with literature than being a teacher of drawing, 
became the center of a new artistic and literary set in 
San Francisco. After Burgess was dismissed from his 
employment at the university, he was free to sow his 
enthusiasms among young writers and artists in the 
city. His efforts and, to a lesser degree, those of 
Porter, gave identity and focus to a new cultural 
scene in San Francisco. In 1894 an d 1895, he and 
Porter gathered about them a group of a dozen or so 
youthful writers and painters, and this coterie 
became the beginning of a Bohemian movement 
whose followers would dominate California and 
western art and literature for the next decade. 

The new cultural set catalyzed by Burgess and 
Porter self-consciously pursued the new and exulted 
in its own youthfulness (most of them were in their 
twenties). Calling themselves "Lesjeimes" ("the 
young ones"), they identified their own youth with 
the youth and vitality of San Francisco and with a 
fresh, unjaded approach to the fine arts and literature. 
While none of their number, aside from Burgess, 
became major figures in American culture, they en- 
couraged and were models for the even more youth- 
ful new members of the city's cultural scene who, in 
some cases, eventually achieved national and even 
international stature. Although Lesjeunes gravitated 
together for only a brief two-year period and then, 
like random atoms, flew apart to Paris, London, and 
New York, they gave San Francisco a cultural iden- 

tity that was of great significance to those who came 
on their heels, novelists like Frank Norris and Jack 
London (both good friends of Burgess and other 
Jeunes), poets like George Sterling and Edwin Mark- 
ham, and artists like Maynard Dixon and Xavier 
Martinez. 9 

"It was a charming, brief period," recalled Bruce 

filled with enthusiasm and a quite fresh perception of the 
city and its romantic beauty and the beauties of California. 
The social life had again gained something of the old 
orderliness and serenity, only now its activities in art were 
preeminently in the hands of youth. Writers, painters, 
sculptors, architects, and musicians communicated their 
enthusiasms one to another, in a communion closer and 
more stimulating than has ever happened locally before or 
since. 10 

While Porter may well have been indulging in a bit 
of romanticizing, there is no doubt that San Francis- 
co's cultural life by 1895 had reawakened and was 
bursting with new vitality, new projects, and the 
desire to be abreast of the latest European trends and 

The resurrection of local literary and artistic cul- 
ture sparked by Lesjeunes had been a long time in 
coming. From the days of the gold rush, the city had 
been home to several talented journalists and writers, 
including humorist George Derby and John Rollin 
Ridge, the Cherokee biographer ofjoaquin Munetta. 
But most of San Francisco's literature was produced 
by people who wrote only as a sideline to other 
occupations. Of the small number of painters in the 
city's early history, only the Nahl brothers, Charles 
and Arthur, exhibited particular merit. 

San Francisco's cultural life changed radically for 
the better in the 1860s. In this decade a new group of 
impressive young writers and painters emerged who 
first and foremost considered themselves artists and 
took their primary task to be creative expression. At 
the center of San Francisco's first genuine literary 


Bohemian Renaissance 

"set" was the recently arrived Los Angeles poet, Ina 
Coolbrith, and at various times it included fiction 
writers Bret Harte, Mark Twain, and Ambrose 
Bierce, poets Charles Warren Stoddard and "Joa- 
quin" Miller, along with New York Bohemian 
immigrants like journalist Charles Webb and actress 
Adah Isaacs Menken. 

San Francisco's poetry of this period was heavily 
colored with Byronian Romanticism, while the most 
effective prose appeared in sketches and short stories 
about the heroism, humor, and sentimentality of 
pioneer California life. The western frontier experi- 
ence as well as California's majestic natural beauty 
could have been major themes, but, for the most 
part, the writers did neither justice. Instead, the work 
they produced in the '60s ranged from bland to senti- 
mental, relying for emotional, experiential, and liter- 
ary effects more on Lord Byron, Dickens, James 
Fenimore Cooper, and crude miners' humor than on 
fresh, genuine perceptions of the uniqueness of the 
new West. That California writers failed to produce 
literature of the quality being generated in the East 
during the same era is not surprising, however, since 
the western writers had a cultural heritage of only 
two decades, not the two centuries of evolution in 
social and literary conventions available to a Melville 
or a Hawthorne. 

In the same decade of the '60s, three major painters 
emerged, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill, and Wil- 
liam Keith. While their work is impressive in certain 
respects, it is also heavily dependent on eastern and 
mid-nineteenth century European styles. Comment- 
ing on Keith and the era, critic and Jeutie Porter 
Garnett wrote, "His transcripts of nature are touched 
with poetry, but they display less refinement, less 
charm, and less individuality than the landscapes of 
[American George] Inness with whom he is fre- 
quently compared." Garnett pointedly concluded his 
judgment of local nineteenth century painting thusly: 

The two decades from the early 1870s 
to the early 1890s represent a flat 
period, even a regression, in the evolu- 
tion of the city's cultural life. 

"While California has undoubtedly produced art, she 
has not produced an art . . . there is not yet an art that 
is characteristically Californian and at the same time 
universal." 11 

Whatever the shortcomings of writers and artists 
in San Francisco during the 1860s, they did create a 
legitimate and somewhat distinctive cultural milieu. 
By the early '70s, however, most of the writers and 
painters had either left the city permanently or were 
frequently absent. Of the major writers, only Ina 
Coolbrith and Ambrose Bierce remained, while the 
others were lured away by eastern publishers or life in 
Europe. While several important painters maintained 
residence in San Francisco, most spent their time 
painting western landscapes, and their long working 
excursions in the High Sierra or Yosemite did little to 
quicken artistic life in San Francisco. 

For the most part, the two decades from the early 
1870s to the early 1890s represent a flat period, even .1 
regression, in the evolution of the city's cultural life. 
The founding of the Bohemian Club in 1872 to pro- 
mote fellowship among artists was more a tribute to 
what had gone on in the decade before than to excit- 
ing new cultural possibilities on the immediate 

Writers of quality such as Bierce, Robert Duncan 
Milne, and W.C. Morrow, as well as interesting 
artists such as Jules Tavernier and Joe Strong, con- 
tinued to work, but except for the brief excitement 
caused by the arrival of foreign literary lions like 


Thejirst issue oj rhcLark extolled the < lalifomia land- 
scape oj redwoods and sunsets, but, as suggested by its 
tingeringfondnessfot ilicAn Nouveau "pipingfaun", 
the magazine relied heavily on European styles. 

Stevenson, Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling, the 
pace of cultural life and creative activity remained 
sluggish. Therefore, when Burgess, Porter, and their 
company ended Cogswell's reign on Market Street, 
an extremely significant moment in the revitalization 
of San Francisco's artistic life had occurred. A cultural 
renaissance had begun. 

New artistic movements must have identifiable 
themes and principles, no small issue for Lesjeunes. 
Burgess could complain that though "there is no 
future too great for such a city as [San Francisco] . . . 
she still dozes, witless of her heritage. The arts lan- 
guish and as yet are not factors in her life." 12 But 
where to turn to make art and literature once more a 
compelling part of the urban experience? By the 
1 890s, it was unthinkable to go back to the pioneer 
West, for Burgess and Porter's generation had no 
direct contact with mining, farming, banditry, fron- 
tier violence, and the attendant sentimentality, or 
with other familiar themes of early California which 
symbolized a seemingly cruder way of life. 

In a similar sense, the young Bohemians of the '90s 
found little charm or force in the bland Romantic 
verse forms and simply narrated moral tales of the 
'60s. Instead, themes from nature seemed a more 
promising inheritance from the early writers, and 
both Burgess and Porter repeatedly emphasized how 
much an inspiration California's magnificent natural 
landscape was to their spirits and artistic creations. 

Yet the attribution was strained. Bohemianism 
from its earliest days in Paris of the 1840s had always 
been an urban phenomenon. Perhaps it is true, as 
historian Emily Hahn has suggested, that westerners 
never really understood Bohemianism as a way of 
life, since they usually sought success and a pleasant 
material existence while ignoring the more authentic 
model of the artist rebelling against social and moral 
convention in the service of truth, beauty, and free- 
dom. 13 Nonetheless, San Francisco's young writers 

and artists lived in a city filled with Victorian houses, 
grandiose hotels, and massive business and public 
buildings, a city with all the allure of urbane society 
and urban vice. Like other Bohemians who concen- 
trated on the social and cultural possibilities of the 
city, not on a bucolic or innocent nature from the 
Romantic past, they tended to perceive and enjoy 
nature as merely one more diversion. 

If California's past offered only limited possibilities 
for literary and artistic themes, then the present, Les 
Jeuries reasoned, had to provide the underpinnings for 
a truly regional Californian point of view and style. 
To begin with, they identified the youth and enthusi- 
asm they perceived around them in San Francisco 
with their own youthful elan. No jaded, over- 
civilized, decadent art or literature would be toler- 
ated. Their second underlying principle was a belief 
in the remarkable personal and artistic freedom 


which the new society of California, untainted by 
older social and artistic convention, made possible: 
"Only here the Individual walks large, freed in the 
strong Air from the Servitude of his Traditions." 14 
Youthful vitality, expressive freedom, insouciance, 
iconoclasm, experimentation, wit, intellect — these 
qualities along with a profound belief in the rich 
opportunities for a significant new California con- 
tribution to the cultural evolution of mankind were 
the touchstones for Burgess, Porter, and their com- 
patriots. What they committed themselves to is what 
Kevin Starr describes as "a mood, a style — specifi- 
cally and freshly Californian." 15 To live a life of art 
for art's sake in such an environment — as opposed to 
living in the jaded and decadent London of Oscar 
Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley — would result in great 
artistic and literary achievements and a new respect 
from the rest of the world for California's culture. 

Armed with this sanguine philosophy, Burgess, 
Porter, and others of their set such as artists Ernest 
Peixotto and Florence Lundborg sought a coopera- 
tive venture where all of their "new" ideals and 
principles might be fully embodied. Fortuitously for 
Lesjeunes, the mid-i8QOs was the age of highly 
sophisticated "little magazines" dedicated to publish- 
ing avant-garde literature and art. The first and most 
famous of the new "little magazines" was The Yellow 
Book, begun in London in 1894, which published 
works by Henry James, Max Becrbohm, William 
Butler Yeats, and Aubrey Beardsley, among others. 
In America, the most successful example was Chi- 
cago's Chap-Book. To Lesjeunes, this format seemed 
perfectly suited to include the work of several con- 
tributors, most of whom were involved with both 
literature and the visual arts. 

In 1895 Burgess and Porter thus decided to launch 
their own "little magazine" called The Lark. Burgess 
described The Lark's genesis thusly: 

We had been watching the literary movements of the time 
very narrowly, and the impulse to strike for California 
grew in us. There was a new note of personal expression 
then becoming dominant, but not in the Revue Blanche, 
not in the Yellow Book nor yet in the Chicago Chap-Book 
did we seem to hear the tune ring true. Yes, we must 
demolish Decadence and its "precious" pretensions, and 
careless of the outcome so long as we had our stroke for 
freedom, we sent forth our Lark. Never was a periodical 
better named, for it mingled whimsicality with serious 
purpose, and most of its songs were set in the key of 
Humour. 16 

Once The Lark was in flight, Burgess continued, 
"We ran the gamut of French forms of verse, we 
exploited the sheerest of nonsense [and Burgess be- 
came at this time the leading practitioner of nonsense 
humor in America], we resurrected old definitions 
using the serious with the frivolities, in the belief that 
the sense of humour is but a corollary of the sense of 
earnestness. . . ," 17 All was for art, youth, and trcc- 




dom. Even the title of their new "little magazine" 
implied the whimsy and gaiety of "doing it just for a 

But the lark was also a time-honored poetic sym- 
bol of a bird that could fly toward heaven only as long 
as it continued to warble its lovely song. Shake- 
speare, an artist who helped create a renaissance in 
language and culture, was the source of the lark 
image, and Burgess made clear his own affinity for 
sixteenth-century England: "And if I ape the Elizabe- 
thans, it is but to strive for the impossibility of free- 
dom that lasted while books were few. A word was 
slang to-day, and to-morrow, lo, it was literature! 
No patented phrases, no balanced periods and all 
forms inchoate!" 18 The theme of youthful renais- 
sance pervaded The Lark, and the first issue, which 
was published (significantly) in the Spring of 1895, 
began with Bruce Porter's prologue: "A new note — 
some of the joy of the morning — set here for the 
refreshment of our souls in the heat of mid-day. With 
no more serious intention than to be gay — to sing a 
song, to tell a story. . . ." 19 

Almost at once the modestly produced Lark (it was 
printed on inexpensive bamboo paper purchased in 

Chinatown) caused a sensation not only locally, but 
throughout the nation. Major newspapers in the East 
as well as the rival Chap-Book in Chicago praised it as 
the most exciting new "little magazine" of its day. 
Though Burgess described his creation as "a sly deli- 
cacy, too rare a treat for public esteem," the circula- 
tion during its two years of publication rose to an 
impressive 3,000 subscriptions, in addition to book 
shop sales. 20 

Perhaps it was The Lark's capturing of "the then 
unpopular and unfashionable mood ofOptimism," 21 
perhaps it was the appearance in the first issue of 
Burgess' infectious nonsense poem, "The Purple 
Cow," which swept the country like wildfire, per- 
haps, as the New York Times reviewer commented, it 
was that The Lark was "incredibly, even impossibly, 
1895." Whatever the reason, Lesjeuties had created a 
hit, and even their skeptical, more seriously literary 
friend, Frank Norris, was moved to comment that 
the popularity in the West of Harte, Bierce, Kipling, 
and Crane had been snatched away by "that little 
army of youthful volunteers known as Lesjeunes." 22 
It seemed as if Burgess, Porter, Peixotto, Garnett, 
Lundborg, and the others had won the day for a new 


Gelett Burgess ' smashingly popular "Purple Cow" deftly 
combined Beardsley's Art Nouvcau images and Lewis 

Carroll 's mathematically precise nonsense verse. After the 

brief flight oj The Lark, Burgess lived most oj his life in 

New York and Europe. Marvin Nathan Collection 

California regional idiom grounded in the attractive 
ideals of youth, freedom, romance, spontaneity, and 
estheticism. But had they? 

Between the time of San Francisco's first great 
creative burst in the 1860s and the publication of The 
Lark three decades later, a number of powerful new 
artistic and literary movements had emerged in 
Europe. By the early 1890s, even far-away San Fran- 
cisco was awash in new styles and philosophies of art. 
French Post-Impressionism and ArtNouveau, largely 
an outgrowth of the English Pre-Raphaelite move- 
ment, were the two most compelling new styles in 
the visual arts. In literature, French Symbolist 
poetry, rooted in the work of Baudelaire and Mal- 
larme, and the peculiar English phenomenon, non- 
sense verse, best exemplified in the writings of Lewis 
Carroll, W.S. Gilbert, and Edward Lear, were in the 
height of fashion. The new artistic doctrine of 
Estheticism, born in Verlaine's Paris, was also flour- 
ishing in London by the 1880s. The Esthete in his 
guise as artist, dandy, or decadent, insisted that art, 
esthetic form, was more real and, therefore, more 
important than anything else in life. Sensuality, taste- 
ful hedonism, and an indifference to the practical 
or moral applications of art were major elements in 
the Esthete's creed. 

In 1882 Oscar Wilde, the most renowned example 
of the new Esthete, had visited San Francisco on a 
lecture tour, arriving dressed as an eighteenth-cen- 
tury dandy flaunting lace cuffs and collar, and smell- 
ing of cologne. Not surprisingly, Ambrose Bierce, 
child of an earlier age in California culture, was duly 
outraged by this "precious crystalline child" of the 
new literary world. But by the '90s — even in San 
Francisco — the elegant and cynical estheticism rep- 
resented by Wilde, suavely termed "Jin de siecle" (or 
end of the century) was considered the height of 
fashion among many people connected with the arts, 
literature, and high society. 

Although the new artistic styles — Post-Impres- 
sionism, Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Nonsense Verse, 
and Estheticism — differed radically from one 
another, they shared a common tendency to move art 
away from life by making visual and literary pieces 
worlds unto themselves, with only limited applica- 
tion to social or moral issues and little concern for the 
perennial basic questions about the human condition 
which artists and writers have traditionally con- 
fronted. Lesjcunes, entranced by a wide variety of 
such new abstract styles which moved art away from 
the local and immediate, had little chance to create a 
true regional culture in fin de siecle San Francisco. 

While The Lark was to be the clarion call of ".1 San 
Francisco renaissance," Les Jennet commitment to 
such new abstract styles made this call one heavy 
with English and French accents. If, as his biographer 
Joseph Backus maintains, Burgess "as nonsense poet, 
writer, illustrator and editor . . . became the embodi- 
ment of a wide range of contemporary tastes and the 
best example, therefore, of the Renaissance man in 


California History 

S.ui Francisco," 23 then his example was heavily 
dependent on foreign contemporaries. Though he 
attacked "1 )ecadence," Burgess himself was some- 
thing of a dandy who openly admired Oscar Wilde's 
wit, .is well as Aubrey Beardsley's often scandalous 
illustrations. ("B is for Beardsley, the idol supreme, 
Whose drawings are not half so bad as they seem," he 
wrote in 1896.) From his youth as well, Burgess was 
thoroughly conversant with Carroll, Gilbert and 
Lear, the best of the English nonsense versifiers. 
Through fellow artist and close friend Ernest 
Peixotto, who had recently studied in Paris, he and 
the other Jeuties were educated in the latest French 
painting techniques. Similarly, associate Bruce Por- 
ter remained the foremost champion of Art Nouveau 
in San Francisco following his visit to Burne-Jones' 
studio in England. 

While the editors who launched The Lark espoused 
ideals ot youth, freedom, and California's artistic 
possibilities, the style and substance of their maga- 
zine were based on direct contacts with forces wholly 
apart from Californian or even western American 
culture and experience. In the pages of The Lark, 
there is little genuine social satire or literary criticism 
and tew examples of serious original prose or poetry. 
Instead, there is a pastiche of nonsense verse, highly 
derivative poetry in many of the traditional French 
verse forms, generalized essays on esthetics, brief 
romantic episodes set in no particular place or time, 
witty observations, puns, spoofs, illuminated letters, 
and a large number of illustrations. Some of the latter 
are based on Edward Lear's Book of Bosh, some on 
Post-Impressionism, some on Beardsley's black and 
white drawings, some on generalized Art Nouveau 
models. Only occasionally does one detect genuine 
originality in The Lark's visual presentation. While 
there are vitality, spontaneity, and some imagina- 
tion, the inspiration and style are too derivative of 
other times and places, the material too disparate, to 

create any articulate expression of a new regional 
culture or "Californian style." 

In fact, a good deal of The Lark's national popular- 
ity can be attributed to Lesjeunes' sensitivity to the 
most attractive avant-garde fashions of their day. The 
format and structure of The Lark, according to Bur- 
gess' biographer Backus, was but a manifestation of 
Art Nouveau style: 

Since the contents of [the] little magazine existed for their 
own sake, like other manifestations of Art Nouveau, and 
not for any direct connections with their surroundings, 
The Lark became a fitting singer for the new movement. 
Because Art Nouveau was mainly concerned with a tasteful 
organic relationship between idea and style, rather than 
with any deeper concept, it grew with the rootless luxu- 
riance of an air-plant, toppling soon beneath its own 
weight. 24 

The inescapable conclusion that one must draw 
about what Lesjeunes created is that, for all its cul- 
tured style, wit, esthetic posturing, and animated 
illustrations, it contained no central conviction, no 
stylistic coherence, no specific or profound intel- 
lectual commitment. Rather than creators of a Cali- 
fornian idiom, they were talented, often imaginative 
purveyors of recent European cultural ideas and 
styles to San Francisco and the rest of the nation. Les 
Jeuties were yet another generation of California pro- 
vincials, only slightly more sophisticated than their 
predecessors of the 1860s. 

After two years of existence, The Lark began los- 
ing its local and national popularity. In perspective, 
the embittered Burgess' magazine was but another 
example of Jin de siecle fashion, and, like all works of 
fashion, it became passe. Had Lesjeunes produced an 
art or literature that were authentic to their region, its 
history, and contemporary experience, their tate 
might have been different. But a genuine artistic 
regionalism in California would not fully emerge 
until after World War I when Robinson Jeffers, John 


Bohemian Renaissance 

Steinbeck, William Saroyan, Dashiel Hammett, and 
Raymond Chandler, among others, created a litera- 
ture true to the western landscape. 

And, yet, what Burgess, Porter, and the others 
accomplished was nevertheless substantial. Vigorous 
and sensitive, they gave birth to a cultural revival in 
San Francisco during the 1890s and, in so doing, 
quickened the flagging artistic and literary life of the 
city. When Dr. Cogswell's effigy crashed to the 
ground, much of the insularity and stagnation of San 
Francisco's cultural life came tumbling down with it. 


1 . For a contemporary account of this incident, see "A Foun- 
tain's Fall," San Francisco Examiner, January 2, 1894, p. 2. 

2. Gelett Burgess, Escape from Reality: Notes Toward an Auto- 
biography, unpublished manuscript in the Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley, pp. 37, 41a, 47. This 
work dates from the period 1937-41 . 

3. Warren Unna, The Coppa's Murals (San Francisco 1952), 
p. 42. 

4. In the east, and particularly in Massachusetts, the Unitarian 
Church became a bastion of culture and the arts because of its 
liberal attitudes and the people attracted by those attitudes. 
When Boston fire-brand Thomas Starr King arrived in San 
Francisco in i860 to become the pastor of the First Unitarian 
Church, he brought with him not only religious ardor, but 
the same concern for the cultural life of the community 
which he had grown accustomed to in New England. Along 
with his dynamic sermons and pro-Union speeches. King 
gave public lectures on American history, literature, and 
philosophy, while encouraging the promising young writer 
Bret Harte. 

Though King died in 1864, the cultural tradition with which 
he imbued San Francisco's Unitarian community did not die 
with him. By the early 1890s, the church was sponsoring the 
Onward Club, composed of young men and women inter- 
ested in literature and the arts, as well as in religion. The 
members, including Gelett Burgess, Bruce Porter, Willis 
Polk, Florence Lundborg, and Porter Gamett, met regularly 
at the Russian Hill home of wealthy Unitarian matron Kate 
Atkinson, friend of young artists from Mark Twain in the 
'60s to the Bohemians of the '90s. The Onward Club had a 
rural retreat in the redwoods north of San Francisco called 
Camp Ha-Ha, and it was here that Burgess, Porter, and 
Garnett first laid plans to publish a small journal. 

5. Burgess, Escape from Reality, p. 3; Burgess The Heart Line 
(New York, 1907), pp. 136-7, 364. 

6. Burgess, Behind the Scenes, edited by Joseph M. Backus (San 
Francisco, 1968), Introduction, p. n. 

7. Unna, The Coppa's Murals, p. 46. 

8. Burgess, Bayside Bohemia: Fin de Siecle San Francisco and Its 
Little Magazines, edited by James D. Hart (San Francisco, 

1954), P- 19- 

9. In a general sense, the new cultural ferment stirred in San 
Francisco by Lesjeunes helped produce a more receptive 
atmosphere for the emergence of other creative young peo- 
ple. In a more specific sense, the personal and artistic relation- 
ships of several of Lesjeunes such as Burgess, Porter, Ernest 
Peixotto, and Porter Garnett with other rising young local 
writers and artists such as Jack London, Frank Norris, Will 
Irwin, George Sterling, Maynard Dixon, Xavier Martinez, 
and Arnold Genthe, were broadened and deepened by their 
mutual membership in the Bohemian Club and their cooper- 
ative participation in the club's theatrical productions and 
summer retreats on the Russian River. 

10. Bruce Porter, "The Beginning of Art in California" in Art in 
California: A Survey of American Art with Special Reference to 
Californian Painting Sculpture and Architecture Past and Present 
Particularly as Those Acts Were Represented at the Panama-Pacific 
International Exposition (San Francisco, 1916), p. 31. Porter 
probably wrote this passage in 191 5. 

1 1 . Porter Garnett, "California's Place in Art," in Art in Califor- 
nia, pp. 44, 39. 

12. Burgess, Bayside Bohemia, p. 15. 

13. Emily Hahn, Romantic Rebels (Boston, 1967), pp. 71-2. 

14. Phyllida; or The Milkmaid, no. 1, January 1897. This small 
literary journal published by Burgess, Porter (quoted), and 
Porter Garnett ran only two numbers. 

15. Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream: 1850-1915 
(New York, 1973), p. 259. 

16. Burgess, Bayside Bohemia, pp. 19-20. This passage was 
written in 1899. 

17. Ibid., p. 21. 

18. Burgess, Lady Mechanic (New York, 1909), Introduction, 
pp. ix-x. 

19. The Lark, No. 1, San Francisco, May 1, 1895, p. 3. 

20. Burgess, Bayside Bohemia, Introduction, p. vn. 

21. Ibid., p. 22. 

22. Frank Norris qj "The Wave": Stories and Sketches from the San 
Francisco Weekly, 1893 to i8gj (San Francisco, 1931). P 77- 
Norris wrote this passage for the I )eccmbcr [ 897 issue of The 

23. Burgess. Behind the Scenes, p. 33. 

24. Ibid., p. 12. 


At any given time between 1895 and 1897, there 
were ten to twelve individuals considered mem- 
bers of Les Jeunes. Among this shifting number, 
about halt can be viewed as peripheral to the 
group because they arrived on the scene late or 
made few contributions to The Lark. 

Of these less central members, Burgess' 
brother Clinton died soon after the halcyon days 
of the 1 890s. The young Japanese poet Yoni 
Noguchi gained a good deal of notice in the East 
and in Europe for his verse. He eventually re- 
turned to Japan where he became a professor of 
English and for some years produced an impres- 
sive array of poetry and literary criticism. San 
Francisco Examiner reporter Juliet Wilbor Tomp- 
kins continued her career in journalism and had 
modest success as a writer of short fiction and 
novels. Carolyn Wells, already an established 
story writer when she contributed to The Lark, 
went on to become a much published and popu- 
lar author of detective stories, children's books 
and poetry, as well as the editor of several 
widely read humor anthologies. Although 
Maynard Dixon was never officially listed 
among Les Jeunes, the young artist was a good 
friend to several in the group and contributed a 
drawing to The Lark. Over the next half-cen- 
tury, Dixon established himself as one of the 
great masters of western landscape painting. 

Central figures in the Les Jeunes set 

Florence Lundborg, contributor of several 
cover illustrations and posters to The Lark, 
spent some years studying in Paris and else- 
where in Europe before settling down in San 
Francisco as a successful painter. Her best 
known public commission is the group of mur- 
als executed in 191 5 and exhibited in the Califor- 
nia Building at the Panama Pacific International 

Wiii is Poi k, highly instrumental in the forma- 
tion of Les Jeunes, though he contributed only a 
few drawings to The Lark, was already a promi- 

What Happened to Les 

nent local architect by the early 1890s, and in the 
years following, he established himself as the 
most important and innovative designer of 
buildings in San Francisco. He was a leading 
practitioner of the Beaux-Arts School, a pioneer 
in the use of Mission Revival Style, and an early 
adherent of the Bay Area shingle house. Until 
his death in 1924, Polk designed dozens of 
buildings in the city and restored many more 
after the earthquake and fire of 1906, including 
the Mission Dolores and the Flood mansion on 
Nob Hill. He is responsible for some of San 
Francisco's most striking public structures such 
as the Hobart Building on Market Street and the 
Hallidie Building on Sutter. Among many pub- 
lic commissions, Polk served as supervising ar- 
chitect for the Panama Pacific International 

Ernest Peixotto, Parisian-trained artist who 
drew eleven of The Lark's twenty-five covers 
and other drawings as well, went on to become 
a highly successful writer and illustrator of 
travel books. His best known work, Romantic 
California (1910), is frequently reprinted. 
Peixotto also wrote well-regarded popular his- 
tories of the American Revolution (A Revo- 
lutionary Pilgrimage) and World War I {The 
American Front). He remained a significant fig- 
ure in San Francisco's cultural life and an active 
member of the Bohemian Club until his death in 


Porter Garnett, esthete and critic, contributor 
of many elegantly written pieces to The Lark 
and Burgess' closest confidant on cultural ideas, 
lived a long and fruitful life committed to schol- 
arship and the arts. Though he never attended 
college, the aristocratic and encyclopaedic Gar- 
nett wrote works on California architecture and 
painting, the Spanish exploration of California, 
and the history of the Bohemian Club plays, in 
addition to penning one such play himself. He 
also illustrated books, including one by poet 
Edwin Markham. In the first decade of the 


Jeunes after The Lark? 

twentieth century, Garnett was a regular arts 
critic for The San Francisco Morning Call and 
edited the famous San Francisco literary journal, 
The Argonaut. He also worked at The Bancroft 
Library at the University of California, Berke- 
ley, and soon after became curator of The Acad- 
emy of Pacific Coast History and edited The 
Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance 
of 185 1 . For several years Garnett was the pro- 
ducer of the Parthcnaean festival at the Uni- 
versity of California. While living in Berkeley, 
Garnett took as his literary protegee the young 
writer Janet Flanner who later on , under the pen 
name "Genet," became one of the leading col- 
umnists for The New Yorker Magazine. 

Always interested in the art of fine printing, 
Garnett travelled to Pittsburgh in 1922 and 
established the famous Laboratory Press at the 
Carnegie Institute of Technology, which he 
directed for fifteen years. This was the first 
school of fine printing in the country. Late in life 
Garnett returned to Northern California where 
he once more entered its cultural life with gr 
energy. He died in 1951 at the age of eighty. 

Bruce Porter, co-founder of The Lark with 
Burgess, always considered himself more a 
craftsman than an intellectual, and during his 
long life he experimented in many different 
media. As sculptor, he executed the Robert 
Louis Stevenson monument in San Francisco's 
Portsmouth Square. As architect, he designed 
houses in Pacific Heights. As muralist, he 
painted scenes in private estates and public 
buildings. As stained glass window artist, he 
created dozens of works throughout California, 
including windows at San Francisco's great 
Swedenborgian Church designed by Bernard 
Maybeck and the San Diego's Children's 
Home. As landscape architect, Porter conceived 
and executed many of the finest gardens in 
Pacific Heights and on the San Francisco Penin- 
sula. Probably his most famous work of land- 
scape architecture is at Woodside on the William 


Bourn estate known as "Filoli" which Porter 
designed to accompany the dramatic house built 
in 1916 by his old Lark compatriot, Willis Polk. 
Like Peixotto and Garnett, he remained an ac- 
tive member of the Bohemian Club and main- 
tained a position of great respect in the Bay Area 
artistic community until his death in 1953. 

Gelett Burgess, the guiding spirit of The Lark 
and its most prolific contributor, was the only 
one of Les Jeunes to gain an international reputa- 
tion. Despite this recognition, his long life after 
the demise of the magazine in 1897 was neither 
happy nor particularly successful. Always 
sharp-tongued and cantankerous, Burgess, who 
after a brief stint replacing his friend Frank 
Norris as a reporter for the San Francisco jour- 
nal, The Wave, divided most of his life between 
New York City and Paris, was burdened by 
long periods of poverty and an unhappy mar- 
riage to an invalid. In spite of repeated economic 
and critical reverses, he wrote thirty-seven 
books, including nonsense humor, children's 
tales (the "Goop" series), self-improvement 
guides, cookbooks, spy stories, murder myster- 
ies, and boy-meets-girl romances. Probably his 
most important novel is The Heart Line (1907) , a 
wonderful penod piece about the sleazy world 
of spiritualism in pre-earthquake San Francisco. 
Always a self-promoter, Burgess unsuccess- 
fully attempted to have a musical based on his 
"Purple Cow" poem produced on Broadway in 
the late 1920s, and in the early 1940s, he tried to 
persuade Cecil B. DeMille to film one of his 
stories. Burgess continued to write throughout 
his life, finishing his final book, the last of his 
eight Goop books for children, shortly before 
his death in 195 1 at Carmel-by-the-Sea where he 
was caring for his terminally ill sister. Though 
his own fiction tended to be contrived and un- 
convincing, Burgess was always alive to the 
newest cultural and social currents, and he num- 
bered among his acquaintances Henry James, 
Pablo Picasso, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 

Woodcut from The Lark '5 first poster, "The Piping i : aim". 



M Kern County's Ban 

Armies ofmidwestern while, black, and Chicano laborers moved from migrant camp to camp following the ripening crops. 

Poor wages and living conditions in counties like Kern and Imperial, where these workers picked pen, 

prompted congressional investigations into the effects of the employment system. Dorothea Lange, ( )akland Museum 

Tim Kappel 


on The Grapes of Wrath 

They drove through Tehachapi in the morning glow , and 
the sun came up behind them, and then — suddenly they saw 
the great valley below them. Al jammed on the brake and 
stopped in the middle of the road, and, "Jesus Christ! 
Look!" he said. The vineyards, the orchards, the great 
flat valley, green and beautiful, the trees set in rows, 
and the farm houses. 

And Pa said, "God Almighty . . . . I never knowed 
they was anything like her. " The peach trees and the 
walnut groves, and the dark green patches oj oranges. 
And red roofs among the trees, and barns — rich barns. 

from The Grapes of Wrath 

John Steinbeck's classic book, The Grapes oj Wrath, 
was published in April 1939. By August of that year, 
it had entered its seventh printing and was on its way 
to becoming one of the most popular American nov- 
els of all time. 

For many readers, Steinbeck's story of thejoad 
family offered a moving depiction of the plight of the 
nation's Dust Bowl refugees. Others were shocked 
by the tale's frank descriptions of the poverty and 
brutality of migrant life, and they denounced it as an 
open attack upon "decent citizens." 

For Steinbeck, who had travelled through Califor- 
nia's rich farmlands and lived with the migrants, The 
Grapes oj Wrath was not merely a sympathetic render- 
ing of one family's trials, but a conscious portrayal of 
the harsh daily conditions experienced by migrant 
laborers. It was Steinbeck's avowed intention to criti- 
cize the system of agricultural production which, he 
believed, perpetuated these conditions. In one of a 
series of articles on migrant labor published in 1936, 
Steinbeck frankly reflected, "If as has been stated by a 
large grower, our agriculture requires the creation 
and maintenance of a peon class, then . . . California 
agriculture is economically unsound under a democ- 
racy." 1 

On its surface, Steinbeck's story describes thejoad 
family's inability to make a living on their parched 
Oklahoma farm and their decline into poverty. 
Driven from their land and heritage, they journey 
west to California in an ancient, overloaded auto. In 
California, as they move from Arvin to Gridley and 
on to Tulare in search of work, thejoads are brutal- 
ized by a system of agricultural production that 
requires them to be rootless migrant laborers. Pre- 
dicting that thejoad family and the 100,000 other 
migrants who arrived yearly in California between 
1935 and 1940 would not indefinitely tolerate these 
oppressive conditions, Steinbeck warned Americans 
toward the end of his story, "In the souls of the 
people, the grapes of wrath are filling and growing 
heavy, heavy for the vintage." 2 

Not surprisingly, considering the book's timely 
subject and Steinbeck's views, The Grapes of Wrath 
was attacked or praised less as a novel than as a factual 
social document. 3 Fearful of the effect of Steinbeck's 
stirring portrayal of the treatment of migrants and 
concerned that the novel's undeniable message 
would lead to investigations into migrant living and 
working conditions, large agricultural interests — as 
well as moral conservatives opposed to the frank 
language and events contained in the epic drama — 
attempted to prevent the circulation of the book in 
towns throughout the United States. The library 
board of East Saint Louis, Illinois, ordered three 
copies of the book ceremoniously burned on the 
courthouse steps. In Buffalo, New York, the librar- 
ian refused to purchase copies of the book, and in 
Kansas City, the Board of Education ordered The 
Grapes of Wrath removed from the library shelves. 
None of these moves, however, was as vigorous or 

Tim Kappel is a social historian from Northwestern University 
who works primarily m the area of agricultural policy. 

21 I 

/ In ( Ihamberoj Commerce secretary, a county supervisor, 

and the president oj the Associated Farmers organization 

spoke out against allowingThc ( IrapesofWrath to be read 

in Kern County, Look, October 24, 1939 

successful as the coordinated campaign to suppress 
the novel mounted in C California. 


n Kern County, California, the heartland of 
America's "harvest of plenty," the County Board of 
Supervisors requested on August 21, 1939, that the 
use, possession, and circulation o{ The Grapes of 
Wrath be banned from the county's libraries and 
schools. To the residents of Bakersfield, the county 
seat, and the remainder of Kern County, this ban on 
the novel came as a complete surprise. No complaints 
had been registered at the local libraries, no articles or 
editorials had debated the merit of the book, and the 
Board of Supervisors had never previously discussed 
the issue. 

When the ban was announced, the most common 
reaction in Kern County was one of disbelief. Within 
days, the county librarian, the rural press, local 
unions, and the 600 readers who already had reserved 
the book at the library joined in an effort to rescind 
the ban. 

During the course of the long controversy that 
ensued, public debate often focused on the validity of 
Steinbeck's representation of the migrants and his 
trank description of the misery of their lives. But as 
events unfolded in Kern, it became clear that the 
course of this seemingly local battle was influenced 
by larger corporate agricultural interests who were 
determined to stave off any challenge to their control 
of agricultural working conditions. 

In tact, the attack on The Grapes oj Wrath was 
coordinated and well-timed. On the day following 
the passage of the ban in Kern County, the Associ- 
ated Farmers of California, a powerful statewide 
organization made up of large growers and business 
people, announced its plans for a California cam- 
paign to halt the circulation of Steinbeck's novel. On 

August 23, Associated Farmers President W.B. 
Camp proclaimed that the organization would "im- 
mediately launch a project to have other counties in 
the state take suitable action" against the novel, 
turther noting that "other groups are already enter- 
ing the arena to battle the smear against the state." 4 
Created through the joint efforts of the California 
Farm Bureau Federation and the State Chamber of 
Commerce, the Associated Farmers was financially 
backed by the Canners League and large landholders 
including Standard Oil of California, the Bank of 
America, and Southern Pacific Railroad. Established 
in 1933, the Associated Farmers' purpose was to 
organize local citizens' committees to pass anti-pick- 
eting regulations. These regulations, it was believed, 
would squash agricultural workers' strikes and 
unionizing attempts before they could seriously 
upset existing practices. To begin the statewide cam- 
paign, the Associated Farmers executive board ap- 
pointed Edson Abel of the California Farm Bureau 
Federation and R.N. Wilson to recruit local farming 
and business interests to its cause. In 1934 Wilson 
reported on the success of the group's efforts: 

More than twenty counties have passed [antijpicketing 
ordinances and a few have passed [anti-migrant] camp 
ordinances. In addition, the respective counties have in 
most cases perfected some type of organization to meet 
whatever communistic troubles may develop. . . . 5 

In its second phase of organizing, the Associated 
Farmers turned to membership drives in order to 
form local units capable of mobilizing for massive 
strike-breaking efforts throughout the state. Equip- 
ping its members for large-scale actions, the organi- 
zation stockpiled arsenals of tear gas and ammunition 
and deputized large numbers of local farmers. 

In 1937, the strike-breaking tactics of the Associ- 
ated Farmers were highlighted in the Stockton Can- 
nery Workers' strike. In this campaign, the local 
sheriff turned over command of the vigilante group 


"A Distorted Picture," is what Emory HorT- 
■ • ictary (if the Kcin County, Col., Cham- 
bei of Commerce -,iys of Steinbeck's book. To 
refute it, he filmed a short. "Plums of Plenty." 
He claims "The Grapes of Wrath" has scared 
thousands of tourists away from Kern County. 

" 'The Crapes of Wrath' Is a Filthy Book." 

according to Stanley Abel, supervisor who 
helped ban the book in Kern County. Abel 
say! "It offends our citizenry by falsely im- 
plying that many of our fine people are low 
0U1 public officials . . . inhuman vigilantes " 


Healthy Children like these not starvin 
arc lypical of n„ rdj |() 

■■'< Farmers The Kern County C of C 
'" answer '" Steinbeck's tatemenl about the 

W n per rapna for all relief last year 

"The Crapes of Wrath" is burned and banned 
hi Bake, •(" Li Cal with the approval of W II 
Camp president of the Associated Farmers of 
Kern County (left) Said ("amp 'We ai 
because we were attacked in a i»>nk 
in Ihe extreme sense "f the word 

iiith\ foi you to point out its vile propaganda 

Ami •• 
i ifht to s.iv « ii.ii they pli 

■ i ighl to attack a i omi 
words that any red-blooded Ami i 

lei In lea. I || 

Steinbeck's critics charged that by unfairly blaming farmers 

foi iht 1 ^iitu migrant living conditions, Steinbeck "libeled" 

the itate's reputation. Bakersfield Calif omian, 

August 22, [939 

to the past president of the Associated Farmers, 
C olonel Walter E. Garrison. Under his leadership, 
400 local tanners were deputized, supplied with am- 
munition, and organized in military fashion. When 
neither tanners nor the cannery workers were able to 
gain a decisive advantage in the battle that ensued, a 
negotiator was brought in, and the cannery workers 
agreed to go back to work. As they returned to the 
factory, however, they were mobbed by 150 armed 
and deputized farmers. Despite the attempts of union 
leaders to call the workers back, a fierce battle broke 
out, resulting in injuries. Although the Associated 
Farmers were widely criticized for this violent attack, 
they nevertheless succeeded in breaking the cannery 
workers' strike. 6 

Highly organized, well-funded, and capable of 
mobilizing massive resources in their campaign to 
halt the unionizing of agricultural workers, the 
Associated Farmers had considerable experience by 
1939 in initiating the passage of local ordinances. 
They also had good community contacts through 
their close affiliation with both the Chamber of Com- 
merce and the California Farm Bureau Federation. 
As supporters of the ban against Steinbeck's novel, 
the Associated Farmers proved to be a force to be 
reckoned with in Kern County. Steinbeck himself 
perhaps anticipated the incident when he wrote in 
1936, "When such a close-knit financial group as the 
Associated Farmers becomes excited about our 
ancient liberties and foreign agitators, someone is 
about to lose something." 7 

The announcement of the county-wide ban on The 
Grapes of Wrath sent shock waves through Kern. On 
that Monday, August 21, Kern County librarian 
Gretchen Schenk had just returned from vacation, 
and around 3:00 p.m. she was handed the super- 
visors' resolution ordering the books removed from 
the library shelves. 
I immediately went upstairs to the boardroom where I met 

"Grapes of Wrath" to 

Be Filmed as Storm 

Rages on Accuracy 

PAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 22. (U. P.)— Californians have 
D tasted Novelist-Playwright John Steinbeck's "The Grapes 
if Wrath," and today, almost collectively, they pronounced 
it bitter fruit. A counterattack against the "harsh accusa- 
tions" of the novel, which por-f 
toys the sordid life of Okla- 

homa dust bowl migrants, 
pined new support hourly as 

tnthy citizens sought to combat 
that they declared to be a libel on 

"Other Side" Sought 

Pro- America, a Republican women's 
organization, keynoted the sharp at- 
tack upon Steinbeck at a discussion 
meeting to consider means of pre- 
lecting "the other side of the migra- 
tory labor picture" to the nation. The 
luthor has long been a resident of 
tbe state. 

"California, once the mecca of em- 
pire builders, has become a bird refuge 
for cuckoos, scolding jays and crack- 
pots," declared" Mrs. Ruth Comfort 

Harold Pomeroy. executive secre- 
tary of the Associated Farmers of 
California and former state relief ad- 
ministrator, said: 

"Storybook crusaders should roll 
up their sleeves and work side by 
tide with the farmers toward a solu- 
tion of the migrant problem. The an- 
tagonizing classes of the state are 
trying to throw the blame for the 
situation on the farmers themselves, 
claiming the farmers encouraged mi- 
gration to get cheap labor. The plain 
truth Is the great bulk of this migra- 
tion has resulted from the fact Cali- 
fornia pays the highest agricultural 
wages of any state in the union." 
Relief Scored 

Thomas McManus, secretary of 
the Kern county (where the Califor- 
nia scenes in the novel are laid) Citi- 
zens' Committee, said California's 
large relief payments have brought 
migrants to the state. If relief were 
■topped, he said, the indigents would 
nay home. 

McManus denied Steinbeck's ob- 
rious charge that migratory workers 


His Novel Mir.-, Protest* 
l wm vO*« AdJoiniDK Column ) 
ire lured to California by farmers 
vho advertise glowingly to secure 
cheap labor. He said migrants still 
*ere arriving in California, 20 per 
cent faster than last year. 

Mrs. A. C. Mattel, national chair- 
"tan of Pro-America, declared the 
•tate was the victim of a "smear 

"This is the same smear campaign 
that has been directed against every 
Personage and every great institu- 
tion in the United States from 
George Washington to the Supreme 
Court." she said. 

[Supervisor Stanley] Abel, all others having gone. I asked 
him as to the origin of the resolution, and after consider- 
able badinage he admitted that he had asked Emery Gay 
Hoffman, secretary of the Kern County Chamber of 
Commerce, to write the resolution for him. . . . 8 

Naturally, Mrs. Schenk was stunned by the news. 
That night she wrote a letter to each of the super- 
visors who had voted for the resolution in which she 
stated her strong opposition to the ban. In the letter 
she hinted that outside interests might have "sprung" 
the resolution on the board and applied a great deal of 
pressure, but she urged that 


Grapes of Wrath 

in the interest of a healthy and vigorous democracy, where 
everyone can speak his mind freely and without fear, and 
for the sake of the 600 readers in Kern County who wish to 
read the book, please rescind today's vote when you meet 
next Monday. 9 

Throughout the week, the ban was the subject of 
hot debate, and the library staff could barely attend to 
their regular work because of the number of protests 
received from patrons. Joining in denouncing the 
supervisors' action, local unions formed a special 
committee to appear at the next meeting of the 
board. United in the effort to remove the ban were 
the Oil Workers Union Local 19, the Hod Carriers 
Union, the Butchers Union, the Brotherhood of En- 
gineers, the American Civil Liberties Union 
(ACLU), and the Workers Alliance, an organization 
of relief recipients. Soon after the passage of the ban, 
R.W. Henderson, counsel for the local branch of the 
ACLU, gave an address on local radio in which he 
criticized the supervisors' action, stating that it was 
"impossible to overstate this attack upon American 
constitutional rights." 10 Furor over abridgment of 
democratic principles, however, was not the only 
response to the ban. 

Though some of the debate about the book ban- 
ning centered on the ethics of the supervisors' action 
or the book's candid language, it was the broader 
hidden motivation for the board's ban that finally 
surfaced as the major concern. Highly critical articles 
and editorials in the press throughout the Central 
Valley played an important role in focusing this 

On the day that W.B. Camp, president of the 
Associated Farmers, announced the organization's 
plan for statewide action against The Grapes of Wrath 
similar to the action taken in Kern County, the Fresno 
Bee carried a critical article describing the Pro- 
America group that immediately endorsed this cen- 
sorship campaign. Pro-America, a national women's 

organization meeting at San Francisco's Palace Hotel, 
had denounced The Grapes of Wrath, along with 
Carey McWilliams' agricultural expose, Factories in 
the Fields, as a "lie promoting class hatred." Speakers 
at the meeting, according to the skeptical Bee article, 
also declared that the "farmworkers of California are 
better paid and better housed than agricultural work- 
ers anywhere else in the world." 11 

Generally, California's rural press remained unim- 
pressed with the politics of these "special" citizens' 
groups. In a response to the Pro-America meeting, 
the Selma Irrigator questioned: 

As for the meeting in San Francisco at which Mr. Stein- 
beck's book was denounced, wasn't it significant that the 
men and women who have read the book but don't want 
others to read it assembled in one of San Francisco's most 
luxurious hotels far from the San Joaquin cotton fields. 12 

Like other local voices, John Raymond Locke of 
the Dinuba Sentinel related the book to local experi- 

It is absolutely foolish to try and deny the conditions 
pictured, whether of the Dust Bowl West or of our own 
California. Here in our own state most of the pioneers 
have been "run off the land they brought into bearing. 
Look over files of the Sentinel for the past 20 years and see- 
the hundreds that have been foreclosed. 11 


'ith the hope that the board meeting on August 
28, a week after the ban was announced, might result 
in a vote to rescind the measure, local and some 
national attention focused on the elected supervisors 
and how they voted. Most of the men revealed them- 
selves to be decidedly ambivalent on their positions 
regarding the book. Ralph Lavin, who was elected 
with American Federation of Labor and Congress of 
Industrial Organizations support, was the only su- 
pervisor who had voted against passage of the rcsolu- 


( California History 

tion. Explaining his reasons, Lavin said that he hadn't 
read the hook but considered the "action an abridge- 
ment of free speech, and I don't think it is the business 
of supervisors to censor books." 14 For his minority 
stand, Lavin became somewhat of a community hero 
and the focus of national interest when Time maga- 
zine described his defense of the rights of local 

Another supervisor who had originally voted for 
the ban, Charles Wimmer, was reportedly willing to 
change his vote at the second board meeting. In an 
article in the Kern Herald, Wimmer said that though 
he had not read the book, he had voted for the ban 
"under the impression that the Steinbeck book had 
maligned Oklahomans, [and] that he [Wimmer] had 
made a mistake and was not afraid to admit it." 15 

As for the chairman of the Board of Supervisors, 
W.R. Woolomes conveniently left on vacation im- 
mediately after voting for passage of the resolution 
and disappeared from sight throughout the contro- 
versy. C.W. Harty, who had originally voted to 
remove the book after only "sketching" through it, 
was thought to be willing to change his vote. He was 
viewed as the swing vote who could turn the tide and 
rescind the ban. 

A key figure in the strange scene remained Super- 
visor Stanley Abel (no known relation to Edson 
Abel, an original organizer of the Associated Farm- 
ers). The sponsor of the resolution, Stanley Abel 
admitted having read only parts of the book. While 
there was no anticipation that Abel would change his 
vote, there was speculation about his motivation for 
introducing the ban. Some critics suspected influence 
from the Associated Farmers, but when asked about 
the organization's involvement, Abel ingenuously 
replied, "Associated Farmers? I don't even know any 
Associated Farmers. Oh, I might know one or two of 
them." 16 

Just as the ban had taken the residents of Kern 

County by surprise, the resolution drafted by the 
secretary of the Chamber of Commerce and pro- 
posed by Stanley Abel had caught the supervisors off 
guard. What the individual actors would decide at the 
second board meeting, especially in the face of wide 
public opposition to the ban and the suspected but 
unidentified intervention of the Associated Farmers, 
was unknown. But the expressed ambivalence on the 
issue among the supervisors themselves promised to 
make the upcoming meeting of the board one not to 
be missed. 


espite his role in creating the controversy, 
author John Steinbeck kept a guarded silence, stead- 
fastly refusing to address his critics. Long months of 
writing and the emotional strain of being attacked as 
an immoral and communistic rabble-rouser had 
taken their toll. On August 23, the Fresno Bee re- 
ported that Steinbeck had left Hollywood where he 
was working with 20th Century Fox on the movie 
version of The Grapes of Wrath, starring Henry 
Fonda, and returned to his home in Los Gatos suffer- 
ing from nervous exhaustion and arthritis. In the 
interview, Steinbeck declined to comment on the 
attacks made by the Associated Farmers against his 
book. 17 

Privately, however, Steinbeck was well aware of 
the fury that his book had unleashed and, indeed, the 
personal danger he was in. In June 1939, he wrote to a 
friend that the Associated Farmers had tried to make 
him retract his book. But everything he had written 
about, he continued, was thoroughly documented by 
Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette's investigating 
committee which was conducting hearings through- 
out California about the causes of the massive Ameri- 
can migration and migrant workers' living condi- 
tions. Legislation to protect migrant laborers was 


Entering the fray about the Bakersfield book banning, Look canvassed prominent 
Americans about the propriety of turning the controversial book into a film. 

Look, October 24, 1939 



Senator Downey ol 
"While conditions depicted in 
The Grapes of Wrath' are mainly 
the ' ol three years ago, there is 
still much to do in alleviating hu- 
man niiwiy The picturization 
of this story should benefit the 
entire United States." 

Covcrnor Olson of California 1 
firmly believe 20th Century-Fox 

studios should make 'The Grapes 
of Wrath' as a feature picture 
Let us hope it will help fo 
(ieient attention on the plight of 
migrants to speed a federal pro 

gram for then relief " 

Clifton, book criti< and 
mastei ol ceremonies on "Infor- 
mation Please*' 'Yes « h 

Producer Walter Wanger: If the 

motion picture is to be an important 
medium of expression. I think 'The 
Grapes of Wrath' should be filmed " 

Walter Winchell. Broadway col- 
umnist, radio reporter and drama 
Critic On the (Veil! York Mirror 

do Didn'l Zanuck buy it? 

Ruth Comfort Mitchell, author 
ident of Pro-America, an 
organization combating 

Iteinbi ck's: "I feel 
■ v, 
pii lured with fidelity 
d will . make 

Henry Wallace, Secretary of Ag- 
riculture. "If a motion picture 
can tell this story, and tell it with 
justice both to migrants and to 
farm families struggling to keep 
from becoming migrants, then 1 
think such a picture might result 
m more consti uctive thinking and 

act ing by our nation 

John Ford, makei ol The Info 

who will direct the motion-pictuie 
version of Steinbeck's hook "The 
problem presented in The Grapes of 
Wrath' is one which the people and 

government of the United 

• I requiring 

solution That is complete justifica- 
tion for lilming this hook 

Henry Fonda 

to play tl 

.load family in Tl 

Wiath is symbolic of thoi. 

Amei nan families W ' 

now a tl agu one Somen || 
he done about all the 


California History 

Discussion movedfrom whether The 
Grapes of Wrath was an obscene book 
and whether county supervisors should 
dictate the morals oj library patrotis to 
the hospitalization of indigents. 

definitely in the air. As a result, Steinbeck concluded 
with some measure of relief, "They can't shoot me 
now because it would be too obvious." 18 Many years 
later, Steinbeck remembered: 

When The Grapes of Wrath got loose, a lot of people were 
pretty mad at me. The undersheriff of Santa Clara County 
was a friend of mine and told me, "Don't go into any hotel 
rooms alone. Keep records of every minute you are off the 
(Los Gatos) ranch, travel with one or two friends, but 
particularly, don't stay in a hotel room alone." "Why?" I 
asked. He said, "Maybe I'm sticking my neck out, but the 
boys got a rape case set up for you. You get alone in a hotel 
and a dame will come in, tear her clothes off, scratch her 
face and scream, and you try and talk yourself out of that 
one. They won't touch your book but there's easier 
ways." 19 

Before as well as after the publication of his novel 
in 1939, Steinbeck was alert to the dangers posed by 
the Associated Farmers and other powerful agricul- 
tural groups. Having anticipated attacks on The 
Grapes oj Wrath, he had painstakingly investigated 
and documented the migrants' conditions prior to the 
book's publication. He also took precautions to avoid 
personal danger at his Los Gatos ranch and on his 
infrequent travels during this difficult period. No 
doubt for these reasons he declined to become in- 
volved in the Kern County controversy. 

On Monday, August 28, hours before the Kern 
County Board of Supervisors convened to reconsider 
the banning of The Grapes of Wrath , the Bakersfield 

meeting room was packed. In front of the courthouse 
meeting room, members of the Workers Alliance of 
unemployed people carried banners urging that the 
ban on the book be lifted. In the absence of Chairman 
Woolomes, Supervisor Abel presided over the meet- 
ing, proving himself a patient chairperson. Listening 
to heated criticism of his and his fellow supervisors' 
actions, he nevertheless maintained "an interested 
grin (which) was never long absent from his round, 
rubicund face." 

Discussion that morning moved in ever wider 
circles from whether The Grapes of Wrath was an 
obscene book and whether county supervisors 
should dictate the morals of library patrons to topics 
such as the hospitalization of indigents and the pro- 
duction of ham and eggs for the market. Overall, the 
morning's proceeding emerged as a free-for-all ac- 
companied by much applause and laughter in support 
of the many speakers. 20 

The keynote speaker for the individuals and 
groups opposing the ban was R. W. Henderson of the 
American Civil Liberties Union, who protested 
book censorship on the grounds that it could lead to 
partisan coloration of a library's contents. Summing 
up, he declared that it was the action of the super- 
visors and not The Grapes of Wrath that was giving 
Kern County unfavorable publicity. Also speaking 
for the ACLU, Reverend Edgar J. Evans said he 
could not uphold everything in the book, but con- 
sidered it one of the most stirring novels he had read 
in a long time. 

Next to take the floor, Supervisor Abel argued that 
the book was filthy, a point which he stressed 
throughout the morning's proceedings. Weltha 
Smithson, self-professed grandmother, disagreed 
with the supervisor and doubted if "cussin" was 
really foreign to the ears of anyone present. Ralph 
Abel, brother of the presiding Supervisor Abel, re- 
peatedly badgered his brother and insisted that he had 


Grapes of Wrath 

acted on behalf of the Associated Farmers who had 
instigated the action. The allegation was just as 
strongly denied by Stanley Abel and by C.W. Harty, 
whose possible swing vote would finally determine 
the fate of the ban. 

Following the registration of a formal protest to 
the ordinance by Howard Geiger of the Oilworkcrs 
Union, Supervisor Lavin asked Bertha Rankin, a 
local farmer from Arvin, if she thought the language 
Steinbeck placed in the mouths of the novel's Joad 
family and other Oakics was "what they were edu- 
cated to." "I do," she replied. Rankin went on to 
claim that events pictured in the book could well have 
happened. She then detailed incidents in which 
workers were shot and maimed in the San Joaquin 
Valley cotton strike of 193 3 . 

After a two-hour recess for lunch, the supervisors 
reconvened for the afternoon session of the long 
meeting. The boardroom was just as crowded as it 
had been in the morning, with several babies and 
small children crying. The temper of the crowd, 
however, had changed completely, and though there 
were still occasional outbursts of laughter, there was 
little applause. Workers Alliance speakers presented 
quantities of material showing that the Associated 
Farmers had repeatedly acted against the interests of 
agricultural workers. In addition, the speakers 
claimed that the president of the Associated Farmers, 
W.B. Camp, was aligned with the State Chamber of 
Commerce, which was known for its opposition to 
allowing migrants, whom they labeled a very "low 
class," to enter the state. 

Finally worn down by veiled and open charges that 
the Associated Farmers had been responsible for 
authoring and pressuring the board into passing the 
book ban, Supervisor Abel was badgered into nam- 
ing E. Gay Hoffman, secretary of the local Chamber 
of Commerce, as the author of the resolution. Drop- 
ping the morality issue for the moment, Abel claimed 

The Grapes of Wrath was officially 
banned from Kern County libraries and 
schools until January 27, 1Q41. 

that he indeed wanted people to read the book but not 
through the Kern County Free Library. He con- 
tinued somewhat incredibly that he in fact was trying 
to bring national attention to the migrant workers in 
hopes of improving their lot. 

Supervisor Harty, who had been visibly nervous 
throughout the afternoon session, was still convinced 
that the book was obscene and rose to read a prepared 
statement to that effect. He lost his temper midway, 
however, and accused Supervisor Lavin who had 
opposed the ban, of using it for his own ends and 
for furthering a proposed recall move against Harty. 
Lavin angrily replied that he knew no more about the 
recall proposal than Harty and that "he was too damn 
busy" in the third district to know what was happen- 
ing anywhere else. Harty then challenged Lavin to 
read aloud certain marked portions "to prove the 
book was lewd." Nick Podovinnickoff, secretary of 
the Workers Alliance, protested that no fair test of the 
book's merit could be obtained unless the entire book 
was read. Reverend Evans questioned that it was not 
the language that was objectionable but that it was 
"the exposure of a sociological condition." 

After everyone had spoken, Supervisor Wimmer, 
who had originally voted for the resolution, moved 
that the ban be lifted, and Supervisor Lavin seconded 
the motion. When the vote to rescind the ban was 
polled, the room was as quiet as a tomb — until 
Supervisor Harty's resounding "No" resulted in the 
continuation of the ban. Accordingly, county librar- 


California History 

mi Gretchen Schenk was "given orders to withdraw 
the book from circulation pending further orders. 
These 'further' orders," she wrote the state librarian, 
"may be a long time in coming." 


hroughout the duration of the supervisors' ban, 
Mrs. Schenk continued to take a strong stand in 
opposition to the censure. She distributed the coun- 
ty's sixty copies of The Grapes oj Wrath to other 
libraries around the state and kept up an active cor- 
respondence about the issue. One letter she received 
from the Santa Cruz public librarian suggested that 
the issue was not just one concerning Kern County. 
"I have been slow in acknowledging the three copies 
ot The Grapes of Wrath you sent me," wrote the Santa 
Cruz librarian. 

Oh, how we appreciate them! We never discuss the book 
in the library — we have all learned to be very tactful! We 
still have 140 reservations, and that brings us to July 15, 
1940. What a time we have had — today I look back upon 
that experience as a horrible dream! It has been my worst 
experience in all these years — a trustee who was a minister 
was the loudest shouter! 21 

Gretchen Schenk's "further" orders regarding The 
Grapes of Wrath were indeed a long time coming. The 
book was officially banned from Kern County librar- 
ies and schools until January 27, 1941, on which day 
Mrs. Schenk received a letter informing her that the 
Board of Supervisors had adopted an order, pre- 
sented by Supervisor Ralph Lavin, requesting that 
she "replace on the shelves of the Kern County 
Library John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath." 
Members of the local American Civil Liberties 
Union and Friends of the Library were elated by the 
results of the vote, one of the first actions of the 

newly seated county board. The belated lifting of 
the ban represented a victory for those who had 
supported the new supervisors in the 1940 election. 

Reflecting back upon the reasons for the book ban- 
ning, Mrs. Schenk later suggested, 

Though the Civil Liberties Union opposed the ban on the 
morning of the hearing as an infringement of the right to 
read, and though Supervisor Abel stressed the immorality 
of the book in the afternoon, the true reason for the ban 
was economic. The power structure of the county took 
offense at Steinbeck's picture of the migratory workers' 
living conditions. 22 

Throughout the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of 
dust bowl refugees poured into California each year. 
Steinbeck's exposure of the social dislocation created 
by the structure of the nation's agricultural system 
raised what was viewed as a serious threat of reform. 
As a result, it was not the frank words and scenes in 
the novel that mobilized the Associated Farmers into 
a statewide campaign to suppress the book. The as- 
sociation, according to its executive secretary, "was 
not organized for any purpose except to defeat the 
unionization of farms and to stop the agitation of 
radical organizers. . . ." 23 In the minds of some 
members, Steinbeck was a muck-raking radical 
whose powerful portrayal of migrant living and 
working conditions threatened to stir the helpless to 
act and, finally, to transform their fear into wrath. 


1 . John Steinbeck, "The Harvest Gypsies," San Francisco News, 
October 7, 1936, reprinted in Their Blood Is Strong (Simon J. 
Lubin Society, 1938). 

2. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking 
Press 1939), p. 477- 

3. Peter Lisca, The Wide World of John Steinbeck (Rutgers Uni- 
versity Press, New Jersey, 1958). 

4. Bakersfield Calif ornian, August 22, 1939. 


By ig40, the Hollywood version of Steinbeck 's The Grapes of Wrath was playing 

across California and in Central Valley towns. 
Dorothea Lange, Oakland Museum 


5 . Clark A . Chambers, California Farm Organizations: A Histori- 
cal Study of the Grange, The Farm Bureau, and the Associated 
Farmers, 1929-1941 (Berkeley, 1952), p. 41. 

6. Chambers, California Farm Organizations, pp. 71-72. 

7. Steinbeck, Their Blood Is Strong, p. 31. 

8. Gretchen Kniet Schenk to California State Librarian Mabel 
R. Gillis, August 29, 1939, Bakersfield County Archives. 

9. Gretchen Schenk to C.W. Harty, Stanley Abel, Charles 
Wimmer, and W.R. Woolomes, August 21, 1939. 

10. R.W. Henderson, Stop Censorship, August 27, 1939, a radio 
address given by Henderson over station KERN. 

1 1. Fresno Bee, August 23, 1939. 

12. Selnia Irrigator, August 24, 1939. 

13. Dinuha Sentinel, August 24, 1939. 

14. Bakersfield California!!, August 24, 1939. 

15. Kern Herald, August 31, 1939. 

16. Bakersfield Calif ornian, August 24, 1939. 

17. Fresno Bee, August 23, 1939 

18. Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten, editors. Steinbeck — A 
Life in Letters (New York: Vikmg Press. 1957). p. 187. 

[9. Steinbeck and Wallsten, Steinbeck — A Lite in Letters, p 187, 
letter to Chase Horton in Editors' insert. 

20. "Supervisors Vote Two-to- I wo, So Hook Han Stays." Kern 
Herald, August 3 1 . 1939. All descriptions of the board meet- 
ing and quotations ot the speakers m this section .ire from this 
article and Schcnk's letter to Mabel R. Gillis. August 29. 

21. Minerva Waterman to Gretchen Schenk, February s. 1940. 

22. Gretchen Schenk to author, January 26. 1979. 

23. Walter Goldschmidt. As You Sow: Three Studies in the Social 
Consequences oj Agribusiness (Montclair: Allenheld, ( )smun& 
Co., 1978), p. 183. 





The Acme in Chairs, 1876 

12. HUII'I'IRU. 




The Wilson Adjustable Chair Mf'g Co., 
392 Broadway, New York. 

A late writer ia a popular scientific journal gives some 
very plain and convincing statements as to the causes which 
produce so much of the physical weakness and deformity 
among our youth, as well as people of mature years ; and con- 
siders it one of the strangest problems of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, that no parent, teacher or mechanic has given any atten- 
tion to their remedy. The small of the back is the centre of 
voluntary motion, and is the weak or strong point of every 
person. Physiologists tell us that nearly tnree hundred 
muscles are directly or indirectly connected with motions of 
which the small of the back is the pivotal center. Hence, 
while the strong and the robust may fortunately live in bliss- 
ful ignorance of spinal weakness or vertebral distortion, 
invalids are forever complaining of this part of the body. 

People of sedentary habits are constantly complaining of 
the back. We presume there are comparatively few persons 
who do not know by bitter experience what thia means. It 
is more intolerable than agun or neuralgia, or any other of the 
ills to which flesh ia heir. 

The date of the origin of household furniture is pre-historic. 
As long as kings have had thrones their subjects have had 
chairs. The remaining monuments of Egypt and Assyria 
give abundant representations of the conveniences of ancient 
households in these countries. It is known that the Egyptians 
had in their houses chairs and couches of the most elaborate 
designs, made of the best and most costly material, and 
finished in the most expensive style of ornamentation. 

The acme in the improvement of chairs, in point of 
comfort, health and economy seems to have been reached in 
the Wilson Adjustable Chair represented on this page. 

This Chair is made of the best wrought iron and rivets. 
The castors are made expressly for it, and very strong. Every 
thing is arranged on strictly scientific principles. It is sus- 
ceptible of Thirty Changes of Position, nence its great econo- 
my, and value in a hygienic point of view. By reference to the 


cuts it will be seen that the chair is pivoted to arch that forms 
the legs. Cut No. 3 represents the four points at which the 
directions are marked. 

A — Braces riveted on each side of the arch, lock the chair 
firm to the legs; if unlocked at A, the entire chair is sus- 
pended at the pivot, and in whatever position will oscillate by 
the action of two springs, at option of patient, and cannot tip 

B — At this point is a small knob on a flat bar so secured 
as to lock both sides of the chair on that half circle, while the 
back or front is retained at any angle desired by the patient. 
The back and front of the chair work conjointly, and very sim- 
ply, the chair locking itself, and remaining as firm as if 
built to retain that angle. 

C represents a ratchet to elevate the front part to any 
level; while the back may be retained at any angle. 

D — Braces to adjust foot board for any position; as a 
lounge, the foot board locks itself. 

We can allude but briefly to a few particulars in regard 
to the different positions of the chair as represented on this 

The Parlor Chair.— When in this position the back may 
be changed to any angle. If left free at A, it forms a Rock- 
ing Chair. The Easy Chair is represented with footboard 
carpeted. The Reading Chair represents a position in which 
every part of the body is comfortable, with head and shoul- 
ders resting on the pillow The Invalid Chair, with adjusta- 
ble pillow thrown back, will admit of several other positions. 
No. 5 can be adjusted to any length. No. 6 is a comforta- 
ble lounge. It will swing or rest on rod across arch, but can- 
not tip. No. 7 unlocked at A, exhibits the entire principle 
of the Chair. In No. 8 the back may be lowered and front 
dropped to four or five changes. No. 9 represents bed with 
pillow, and standard dropped from the back to form support. 
No. 10, a bed with head reversed ; can be placed in any 
room with head to the north, the proper position for sound 
sleep. No. 11, a medical chair, endorsed by the medical 
fraternity as being scientifically adapted to all requirements. 
No. 12 is compactly folded for shipment ; frame weighs about 
55 pounds ; with upholstery, but about 70 pounds. Circular 
with price list, &c, can be had on application. 


front Asher& Adams Pictorial Album of American Industry 1876 
(New York) 

W. Michael Mathes 


W. Michael Mathes, Reviews Editor 

Sources in Mexico for the 
History of Spanish California 

From 1535 to 1821, California formed a part of the 
far-flung, highly organized, and heavily bureaucratic 
Spanish Empire. On May 3, 1535, Fernando Cortes 
took formal possession of the region at Santa Cruz, 
today La Paz, and thus began the official documenta- 
tion of its affairs. During the succeeding 286 years, 
these three pages of legal testimony would grow to 
fill millions of pages treating every conceivable 
aspect of the Californias. 

Cortes' efforts in establishing a colony at La Paz 
notwithstanding, the Californias resisted permanent 
settlement for some 150 years but were irregularly 
explored by maritime expeditions during that per- 
iod. Following the establishment of Mission Nuestra 
Senora de Loreto in 1697, the settlement of the Cali- 
fornias advanced regularly northward for the re- 
mainder of the era of Spanish domination. 

Prior to settlement, and for some seventy-five 
years thereafter, the majority of the documentation 
pertaining to California was formed into files 
(expedientes) and sent to Spain where it was reviewed 
by the Council of the Indies, the royal advisory coun- 
cil on colonial matters. Thus, much of the material 
dealing with the region extending from Cabo San 
Lucas to Oregon is found in the Archivo General de 
Indias, the repository for the Council, in Sevilla. This 
documentation has been catalogued by Charles Ed- 
ward Chapman in Catalogue of Materials in the Archivo 
General de Indias for the History of the Pacific Coast and 
the American Southwest (Berkeley: University of Cali- 
fornia Press, 1919; New York: Kraus Reprint, 1974) 
and by other historians in the United States, Mexico, 
and Spain. 

Despite this immense amount of documentation in 
the Archivo General de Indias, as well as in other 
Spanish archives such as the Archivo Histonco Na- 

W. Michael Mathes is a professor of history at the University <>l 
San Francisco. 


( California History 

cional, Museo Naval, Real Academia de la Historia, 
and Biblioteca National in Madrid, many of the doc- 
uments relative to the Californias remained in New 
Spain. These materials of a more local nature either 
were not deemed necessary for submission to the 
Council or were retained by local authorities such as 
the viceroy, audiencia, bishop, religious superior, or 
notary for consultation and incorporation into their 
respective archives. Despite intervening revolutions, 
invasions, natural disasters and thefts, many of these 
documents remain intact in Mexican repositories and 
arc available tor consultation by researchers. 

By far the largest of these repositories is the 
Archive General de la Nacion (National General Ar- 
chive), recently relocated in the completely remod- 
eled ex-penitentiary of Lecumberri in Mexico City. 
While the archive is so immense that California 
material is likely to be encountered in virtually any of 
its ramos (sections), those mentioned herein are the 
richest. Full service is provided by the archive which 
publishes a Boletiti frequently incorporating cata- 
logues of the ramos or reproducing important docu- 
ments in its collections. In addition, an ongoing series 
of catalogues has made available complete informa- 
tion on some seventy of these sections to date. 

A brief description of the principal ramos and 
catalogues, if available, follows: 

Californias, 89 volumes, 1730-1821. Contains docu- 
mentation about administrative matters, econom- 
ics, and the port of San Bias; much material relative 
to the Pious Fund. (Guias y Catalogos 3. Ramo 
Californias. 2 vols. 1977.) 

Provincias Internas, 267 volumes, 1776-1821. Con- 
tains documentation relating to all aspects of 
administration of the Spanish possessions in the 
present Southwestern United States; government, 
missions, economics, expeditions, defense. 

(Indices del Ramo de Provincias Internas. 2 vols. 1967, 
1974.; Guias y Catalogos 17. Ramo Provincias In- 
ternas. Indices analfticos. 3 vols. 1977.) 

Misiones, 27 volumes, 1616-1820. Contains docu- 
mentation about the missions of northern Mexico 
and the Southwestern United States. (Guias y 
Catalogos 16. Ramo Misiones. 1978.) 

Historia, 220 volumes, i6th-i9th centuries. Contains 
documents pertaining to major historical occur- 
rences in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, including 
copies of documents held in Spanish archives. 
(Guias y Catalogos 28. Ramo Historia. 6 vols, to 
date. 1981.) 

Reales Cedulas, 243 volumes, 1609-1821. Royal 
Orders issued to the Viceroy of New Spain dealing 
with all matters of administration. (Indices del Ramo 
de Reales Cedulas. 1967. Covers 1609-1675.) 

Reales Cedulas Duplicados, 2 legajos (bundles), 1583- 
1699. Copies of Royal Orders issued to the Vice- 
roy of New Spain. (Guias y Catalogos 64. Reales 
Cedulas Duplicados. 1982.) 

Correspondencia de Virreyes, 355 volumes, 1755— 
1 821 . Contains official communiques of the vice- 
roys of New Spain during the period of Spanish 
expansion into Alta California and the Pacific 
Northwest. Many of the letters are in cipher to 
avoid detection of strategic information. (Guias y 
Catalogos 56. Ramo Correspondencia de Virreyes, 
Marques de Croix 1766-1781. 6 vols. 1980. 

Clero Regular y Secular, 216 volumes, i6th-i9th cen- 
turies. Contains documentation relative to relig- 
ious orders and the diocesan clergy dealing with 
church administration, hospitals, charitable insti- 
tutions and individuals. (Guias y Catalogos 22. 
Ramo Clero Regular y Secular. 1978.) 

Jesuitas, 105 volumes, 1571-1767. Contains docu- 


Sources in Mexico 

merits related to the Society of Jesus, including 
annual reports of the Baja California, Sonora, 
Pimeria Alta and Sinaloa missions. 

Carceles y Presidios y Presidios y Carceles, 31 vol- 
umes, 1 8th century. Contains documentation 
dealing with penal institutions; miscellaneous 
documents about the presidios of the Californias 
have inadvertantly been incorporated. (Guias y 
Catalogos 37. Carceles y Presidios y Presidios y 
Carceles. 1979. 

Several other guides and catalogues arc helpful in 
determining the potential of other ramos which might 
contain documentation treating California matters. 
Pioneering the field was Herbert E. Bolton whose 
Guide to Materials for the History of the United States in 
the Principal Archives of Mexico (Washington: Carne- 
gie Institution, 191 3; New York: Kraus Reprint, 
1965) remains very useful, especially with its analyti- 
cal index and description of principal documents. 
Recently, the Archivo General de la Nacion has pub- 
lished a physical description of its holdings in 
Inventario de Ramos, Guias e Indices, Actualizado al mes 
de marzo de 1Q78, and a two-volume compilation, 
Guias y Catalogos 49, Documentos sohre el Noroeste de 
Mexico (1980), indexes documents treating the his- 
tory of the Southwestern United States in the ramos 
Provincias Internas, Historia, Misiones, Californias, 
Tributos, Inquisicion, Jesuitas and Temporalidades. 

Thanks to the active microfilming program of The 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berke- 
ley, researchers have available on microfilm the com- 
plete ramos of Provincias Internas, Historia, Califor- 
nias, Misiones, Carceles y Presidios y Presidios y 
Carceles, Rcales Cedulas, Reales Cedulas Dupli- 
cados, and Corrcspondencia de Virreyes, as well as 
selected California documents from Jesuitas, Inquisi- 

cion, Clero Regular y Secular, and the Archivo His- 
torico de Hacienda. 

Also within Mexico City, the Archivo Franciscano 
of the Biblioteca Nacional is of primary importance 
for research in early California history. Covering the 
years 1683-1821, the archive contains much material 
from the Jesuit period in Baja California including 
documents by Atondo, Kino, Salvatierra, Piccolo, 
Ugarte, Venegas and Rodriguez Lorenzo, as well as 
from the later Franciscan period in both Californias 
from the colegios of San Fernando de Mexico and 
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zacatecas, the ad- 
ministrators of the Alta California missions from 
1769 to 1833. A detailed catalogue of the Archivo 
Franciscano, Ignacio del Rio, Guia del Archivo Francis- 
cano (Mexico: UN AM, 1975), facilitates research; 
many documents are also available in The Bancroft 
Library. Also important for the Franciscan mission 
period is the Coleccion Lancaster-Jones ot the Musco 
Nacional (INAH) which contains documents from 
the Colegio de San Fernando de Mexico, 1 767-1 800; 
however, no catalogue is currently available. 

Outside the capital city, in La Paz, Baja California 
Sur, the recently created Archivo Historico de Baja 
California Sur "Pablo L. Martinez" contains exten- 
sive documentation about Baja and Alta California. 
Ramo I, La Colonia 1 744-1 821, has been fully 
catalogued by Lie. Jose Andres Cota Sandoval (La 
Paz: Gobierno del Territorio de Baja California, 
1974) and contains such items as prcsidial muster 
rolls; correspondence ot governors Neve, Borica, 
and Arrillaga; land grants; inventories; economic 
reports; supply ship movements; mail service; and 
census records. Further cataloguing appears in the 
Boletin of the archive, and microfilm covering the 
period 1 744-1900 is available for consultation in The 
Bancroft Library. 

Often overlooked by researchers arc the archival 
holdings in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco Seat of the 


California History 

Established in (771', the presidio 01 frontier military 
fortification at Monterey protected the strategic out- 
post oj the fa\ -fiung Spanish empire. 

*. 1I1 u<t 111.1 1 Society, s.m Francisco 

judicial district (audiencia) to which California per- 
tained from 1548 to 1821 and of the diocese which 
administered ecclesiastical matters in the region dur- 
ing the same period, Guadalajara holds substantial 
documentation about early settlers of the Californias. 

The Archivo de Instrumentos Publicos, formed 
from the archives of the Audiencia de Guadalajara, is 
diverse in its holdings. Ramo Gobierno de la 
Audiencia de Nueva Galicia, 80 volumes, 1670-175 1, 
is a collection ot all licenses and appointments to civil 
and ecclesiastical offices within the jurisdiction, 
including Baja California. Ramo Tierras y Aguas, 
400 volumes, 1676-1830, contains documents relative 
to the possession, sale and transfer of land (many of 
the persons mentioned settled in California or were 
involved in its early development). 

The third ramo, Notarias, is perhaps the most diffi- 
cult to research, but the most fascinating and surpris- 
ing. Comprising hundreds of volumes dating from 
1590, Notarias contains the registries of notaries 
{protocolos) , shelved alphabetically by name, which 
hold the original certified wills, contracts, mort- 
gages, loans, promissory notes, powers of attorney, 
and other legal documents drawn up by the residents 
of Guadalajara and its outskirts before their attorneys 
(notarios), many of whom were early figures in the 
exploration and growth of the Californias. 

The remainder of the archives of the Audiencia de 
Guadalajara are found in the Biblioteca Publica del 
Estado de Jalisco, administered by the Universidad 
de Guadalajara. Of importance for California history 
are the ramos Judicial, containing 4,000 legajos of 
documents relating to law suits and administration 
from 1567 to 1 8 17; Fiscal, containing 1,705 volumes 
dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries with tax 
and customs documents; and Juzgado General de 
Bienes de Difuntos, with 144 legajos of probate docu- 
ments dating from 1550 to 1821. A published inven- 
tory of the latter ramo, Extractos del Juzgado General de 
Bienes de Difuntos de la Nueva Galicia Sighs XVI y 
XVII by M. Claudio Jimenez y Vizcarra (Guadala- 
jara: INAH, 1980) is available, and the other ramos 
have typescript inventories soon to appear in print. 
Of general use to the researcher is Carmen Castarieda 
Garcia's Guiade los Archivos Historicos de Guadalajara 
(Guadalajara: Gobierno del Estado, 1979) which de- 
scribes the holdings of each archive and its services. 

Many other Mexican archives contain such valu- 
able records as birth, marriage and death registers, 
wills, and land grants, pertinent to the early settlers in 
the Californias, There remain to be discovered, how- 
ever, many important manuscripts relative to the 
early history of California which will come to light 
only through continued research. 


Book Reviews 

The Plains and the Rockies: A Bibliography 
of Narratives of Exploration, Travel and Ad- 
venture, 1800-1865. 

By Robert H. Becker. (San Francisco: John Howell- 
Books, 1982. 745 pp. S150.00.) 

Reviewed by Ferol Egan, author of Fremont: Explorer for a 
Restless Nation and The El Dorado Trail: The Story of the 
Gold Rush Routes Across Mexico. 

This Fourth Edition of Henry R. Wagner's and Charles L. 
Camp's The Plains and the Rockies has been worth the long 
wait. Before his death in 1975 Charles Camp had been 
working on this needed revision of the book first pub- 
lished in 1953, but he never had the opportunity to com- 
plete it. Users of the previous editions will find that Becker 
has more than done his homework in revising this master 
bibliography ot Western Americana. He has managed to 
elevate this bibliographic classic to new heights. 

Part of the success of this Fourth Edition comes about 
through Becker's years as a librarian and assistant director 
of The Bancroft Library. But another reason — which 
Becker states — was". . . our good fortune that our addi- 
tional research took place at the same time as the comple- 
tion of the National Union Catalog of pre-1956 imprints." 
These facts plus Becker's hard work have resulted in more 
than another revision of this classic, for the book in hand is 
a superb bibliographic treatment of each known issue and 
edition of the publications cited. In addition, Becker had 
the patience and endurance to locate every bit of informa- 
tion available for the individual entries. Hence, each title is 
listed along with line-by-line transcriptions of pages and 
maps, full collations, footnotes containing references to 
present versions of various works (limited by the size of 
the book), locations of various copies of items cited, and a 
full index of authors, titles, and subjects. 

While this is not a book for an evening of reading, it is a 
vital reference work for every library that maintains a 
collection ot Western Americana; an important resource 
for rare book dealers; and an invaluable tool for scholars 
who work the rich history of the American West. If a 
scholar finds something missing, something he thinks 
should be included, he need remember that there had to be 
a limit to the size of this book, and such a limit had 
to be determined by the author. As it stands, though. 

Robert Becker is to be congratulated for giving us a re- 
markable reference book. And, certainly, Warren Howell 
is to be thanked for his belief that this Fourth Edition of 
The Plains and the Rockies should be published to carry 
forth the long vision of Wagner and Camp. 

Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New 
American West. 

By Peter Wiley and Robert Gottlieb. (New York: Put- 
nam, 1982. 332 pages. S15. 95.) 

Reviewed by Charles Wollenberg, author of All Deliberate 
Speed: Segregation and Exclusion in California Schools 
1 855-1975 (University oj California Press, 1975), and teacher 
of history at Laney and Vista Colleges, Oakland and Berkeley. 

This is a book written in the tradition of the late historian 
and social critic Carey McWilliams. Wiley and Gottlieb 
are California journalists and, like McWilliams, analyze 
the Southwest's political economy from a reformist, even 
muckraking point of view. Also like McWilliams, they 
understand that contemporary analysis is impossible with- 
out historical perspective; thus Empires in the Sun includes a 
good deal of informative history. 

The book's central argument is that there is an impor- 
tant regional power shift occurring in the United States 
and that the "new American West" is a net gainer in 
economic and political influence. The region is defined as 
stretching roughly from Southern California to the 
Rockies, including most of what is traditionally regarded 
as the Southwest, except, inexplicably. New Mexico. The 
authors are concerned less with precise political bound- 
aries than with the hinterlands of the area's major cities: 
Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Las 
Vegas. The book defines California as the region's "eco- 
nomic and geopolitical headquarters" and portrays Los 
Angeles as the ultimate Sun Belt metropolis which has 
successfully challenged the supremacy of older East ( oasl 
financial centers. San Francisco is technically outside the 
region of study, but the authors include it in their analysis 
because of its role as a corporate headquarters city for the 
West and Pacific Basin. 

The book's broad regional approach has both strengths 
and weaknesses. The area studied by Wiley and ( rottlieb 


( 'ities oj the West like I os \ngeles, the "ultimate Sim 
Belt metropolis, " have successfully challenged the 
supremacy oj oldet I ast ( ^.oast financial centers. 
California Historical Society, s.m Francisco 

has many common characteristics including severe envi- 
ronmental problems, an arid climate, a massive popula- 
tion boom, and very rapid development of resources, 
agribusiness, and high-technology industries. But there 
are also great differences between Los Angeles and Salt 
Lake City or Denver and Las Vegas, and most other 
southwesterners believe they have little in common with 
California. Indeed, a good case can be made for defining 
the Golden State as a region unto itself and one that domi- 
nates and exploits the rest of the Southwest in much the 
same manner as the East Coast did in the past. 

Nevertheless, Wiley and Gottlieb persuasively argue 
that common bonds exist between the area's movers and 
shakers, a remarkable collection of entrepreneurs, corpo- 
rate executives, agribusinessmen, land developers, Mor- 
mon elders, and mobsters. Key politicians and bureaucrats 
are also important, for the region has profited greatly from 
massive federal subsidies for water, energy, and defense 

The authors' sympathies clearly lie with those who 
oppose the general direction of recent southwestern 
development. (Gottlieb is the only member ot the Los 
Angeles Metropolitan Water District board to campaign 
against the Peripheral Canal.) The book fully explores the 
arguments of environmentalists, small farmers, political 
reformers, "traditional" Indians, and Chicano activists, 
the spokesmen for the victims of the "new American 
West's" economic boom. 

For historians the book's major strength is its use ot the 
past as a context for contemporary analysis. As with any 
"present-minded" historical interpretation, coverage is 
sometimes incomplete, but it clearly demonstrates the link 
between past and present that is so often ignored in the 
Southwest. Even the region's historians have been guilty 
of treating the past as if it had no connection to contempo- 
rary events, a mistake Wiley and Gottlieb have happily 

Empires in the Sun will inform and stimulate even those 
who disagree with its conclusions. The book otters an 
implicit challenge to professional historians, for it reveals 
the great need for systematic study of recent southwestern 


California Check List 

By Bruce L.Johnson, 
Library Director 

The California Check List provides 
notice of publication of books, pam- 
phlets, and monographs pertaining to 
the history of California. Readers 
knowing of recent publications, in- 
cluding reprints or revised editions, 
which need additional publicity are 
requested to send the following bibli- 
ographical information to the com- 
piler for this list: Author, title, name 
and address of publisher, date of pub- 
lication, number of pages, and price. 

Cardoso, Lawrence A. Mexican Emigration 
to the United States, 18Q7-1931: Socio-Eco- 
nomic Patterns. Tucson: University of 
Arizona Press 1980. Order from: Univ. 
of Arizona Press, Post Office Box 3398, 
Tucson, AZ 85722. 

Lawrence Cardoso's study ot Mexican 
emigration, which is grounded heavily in 
Mexican and American archival sources, 
offers the best discussion yet available of 
the factors behind Mexican emigration and 
the American response to the arrival of 
unprecedented numbers of Mexican im- 
migrants. As reviewer Abraham Hoffman 
notes, "Cardoso explores the views of 
American and Mexican government offi- 
cials, from secretaries of state to consuls, 
and his mining of Mexican archives also 
yields a considerable amount of fresh 
material that fulfills his goal of studying 
the concerns of individual people as well as 
their leaders. . . . Cardoso focuses on emi- 
gration rather than immigration, and much 
ot this book's value lies in its offering a 
fresh analysis, based on Mexican sources, 
of the root causes of Mexican emigration 
during the Porfirian and Revolutionary 
periods. The economic, social, and politi- 
cal consequences of this emigration on 
both sides of the border are thoroughly 

Erisman, Fred and Richard W. Etulain 
(eds.) Fifty Western Writers: A Bio-Biblio- 
graphical Sourcebook. Westport: Green- 
wood Press, 1982. $45.00. Order from: 
Greenwood Press, 88 Post Road West, 
Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881. 

Fifty Western Writers is a reference guide to 
representative figures in Western Ameri- 
can literature. Designed with the begin- 
ning researcher as well as the literary spe- 
cialist in mind, this volume provides 
biographical sketches of writers closely 
associated with the American West, inc- 
luding Bret Harte, Robinson Jeffers, 
Jack London, Joaquin Miller, Wallace 
Stegner, John Steinbeck, and George R. 
Stewart. The essays detail the lives and 
literary development of these and forty- 
three other significant authors, and go on 

to survey the most significant scholarly 
treatments of each person's work. Cita- 
tions to other notable scholarship and bib- 
liographical information on the author's 
work follow each chapter, opening 
avenues for further study. Fifty Western 
Authors is modeled after earlier research 
guides, such as Fifteen Modern American 
Authors ( 1969), but is among the first to 
deal specifically with Western American 

Harlow, Neal. California Conquered: War 
and Peace on the Pacific, 1846-1850. Berke- 
ley: University of California Press, 1982. 
$19.95; $25.00 after 31 December 1982. 
Order from: University of California 
Press, 2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, CA 
The conquest of California by the United 
States was probably inevitable, given the 
unbridled energy of a young nation and the 
allure of an open continent stretching to 
the Pacific. The battle for California dif- 
fered both in scale and character from the 
war in central Mexico: it involved fewer 
people and was fought on a more intimate 
level. And theCalifornians, being ambiva- 
lent in their relations with Mexico, quar- 
relsome among themselves, and always 
hospitable to foreigners — though fero- 
cious fighters when conditions warranted 
— were the victims of their own irresolu- 
tion. In this captivating book, Neal 
Harlow proves once again that men, 
issues, and events can be interesting in their 
own right, without exaggeration 

Holmes, Kenneth L. (ed. and comp.) 
Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters 
from the Western Trails, 1840-1890. Vol- 
ume I: 1840-1849. Glendale: The Arthur 
H. Clark Co., 1983. $25.00. Order from 
The Arthur H.Clark Co., Post Office 
Box 230, Glendale, CIA 91209. 

Starkly revealing, richly informative, pro- 
foundly touching, the diaries and letters of 
women braving the western tr.uls during 
the great nineteenth-century westward 
migration are treasured documents too 
long neglected in the study of the Ameri- 
can West. The documents included in this 


California History 

new series w ill provide a cornerstone for 
the stud) and enjoyment of overland jour- 
nals in this genre. Kenneth Holmes has 
researched and collected materials for 
mam- years, discovering remarkable un- 
published accounts in the most unlikely 
places. Those that had found prior publica- 
tion were too often in editions of less than 
IOO copies, mimeographed or typescript, 
now yellowing and crumbling, or in his- 
torical journals long unavailable or little- 
know n. The first of a projected series often 
volumes, (two volumes to be issued per 
year beginning January 1983), volume 1 
( 1 840-1 849) will include an historical intro- 
duction summarizing the overland migra- 
tion, its setting and nature, as well as an 
introduction to the series. Each volume 
will contain between ten and twenty docu- 
ments, transcribed as written without in- 
ternal editing, introduced and footnoted 
by the editor. The final volume of the 
series will contain a cumulative bibliog- 
raphy of primary and secondary sources, 
and an analytical index to the entire series. 
Subscriptions to the series are now being 

Jackson, Joseph Henry. Anybody's Gold: 
The Story oj California's Mining Towns. 
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. 
$7-95 (P a per). Order from: Chronicle 
Books, 870 Market Street, San Francisco, 
CA 94102. 

Anybody's Gold, by the noted historian 
Joseph Henry Jackson, is a rip-snorting 
history of the California Gold Rush. Many 
critics consider the book to be the defini- 
tive early work on that most colorful dec- 
ade ot California history. As noted by 
historian and author Wallace Stegner in his 
foreword, ". . . if I were making a visit to 
the Mother Lode tomorrow, this is the 
book I would reach for first, and be most 
sure I took along, and consult most often." 
Out of print for too many years, Chronicle 
Books has now made available a new 
paperbound edition that includes the 
splendid lithograph illustrations that 
appeared in the original cloth-bound edi- 

Lennon, Nigey. Mark Twain in California: 
The Turbulent California Years of Samuel 
Clemens. San Francisco: Chronicle- 
Books, 1982. $5. 95 (paper). Order from: 
Chronicle Books, 870 Market Street, San 
Francisco, CA 94102. 

Using newly available material from the 
Mark Twain Papers at the University of 
California's Bancroft Library and other 
Twain repositories, biographer Lennon 
presents a lively and informative account 
of Twain's somewhat obscure but seminal 
years in California. The painful transition 
from itinerant newspaper reporter to suc- 
cessful author and lecturer is chronicled 
with style and humor. 

Light, Ken, Roger Minick, and Reesa 
Tansey. In the Fields. Oakland: Harvest 
Press, 1982. $12.95 (p a P er ); special edi- 
tion $125 (includes hard-cover book and 
three photographs). Order from: Har- 
vest Press, Post Office Box 3162, Oak- 
land, CA 94609. 

In the Fields is a compelling book of photo- 
graphs depicting the lives of contemporary 
farm laborers in America. Created by 
photographers Ken Light, Roger Minick, 
and Reesa Tansey, this collection of photo- 
graphs looks at life in the fields from Cali- 
fornia and the West, to Ohio and the East- 
ern seaboard, to the South and Midwest. 
Accompanying the photographs is a 7,000- 
word essay written by labor economist 
Paul Schuster Taylor and journalist Anne 
Loftis, which traces the history of Ameri- 
can agricultural labor from its beginnings. 
Interspersed with the text are photographs 
Professor Taylor made of farmworkers 
during his initial field surveys of the 1920s. 
In the Fields is a photographic documentary 
that examines the conditions found in 
American agriculture today: undocu- 
mented workers of the strawberry and 
tomato harvests, young children working 
in the onion fields, members of small ag- 
ricultural cooperatives bettering their lives 
through land management and ownership. 

Nickerson, Roy. Robert Louis Stevenson in 
California: A Remarkable Courtship. San 

Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. $5.95 
(paper). Order from: Chronicle Books, 
870 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 

An unknown and ailing Robert Louis 
Stevenson came to California in 1879 pur- 
suing a seemingly hopeless love affair with 
a married woman. The clandestine court- 
ship centered in the tiny adobe village of 
Monterey, where the roughness of frontier 
life and the dramatic beauty of the coastal 
headlands had a profound impact on Ste- 
venson's later writings. Biographer Nick- 
erson uses the young Scot's journals and 
letters to reconstruct Stevenson's Califor- 
nia sojourn through the tempestuous 
Monterey courtship, an eventual marriage 
in San Francisco, and an extended idyllic 
honeymoon in the Silverado district of the 
California wine country. An unusual col- 
lection of historic photographs of Steven- 
son and his California associates illustrates 
the work. 

Wallace, David Rains. The Klamath Knot. 

San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1983. 

$12.95. Order from: Sierra Club Books, 

2034 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 

Rivers that run backwards; rock forma- 
tions that confound geologists; plants that 
grow where they don't belong; reports of 
huge humanoids. The Klamath Mountains 
of northwestern California and southwest- 
ern Oregon are a jumble of rugged peaks 
carved by sinuous rivers and an evolution- 
ary mystery that has long puzzled and 
fascinated scientists. Author David Wal- 
lace attempts to unravel what geologists 
and botanists call the Klamath "knot." 
"There is evidently more to wilderness 
than meets the eye," Wallace writes. 
"More than water, timber, minerals, the 
materials of physical existence [are here]. 
Somehow there are mental trees, streams, 
and rocks: an imaginative world of origins 
and meanings — what one might call a 
mythology." Out of this awareness comes 
the fertile idea that the theory of evolution 
is itself a mythology — the mythology — 


Check List 

for our time. And, lurking in the shadows 
of the Klamaths — and Wallace's narrative 
— is Bigfoot, legendary denizen of these 
remote woods. Readers will find here a 
work of technical brilliance, intellectual 
excitement, and enduring beauty. 

Other Books Noted 

Bagwell, Beth. Oakland, Story of a City. 
Novato: Presidio Press, 1982. S16.95. 
Order from: Presidio Press, 31 Pamaron 
Way, Novato, CA 94947. 

Bailey, Adrian. Walt Disney's World of Fan- 
tasy. New York: Everest House, 1982. 
S3 5. 00. Order from: Everest House, Box 
978, 424 Raritan Ctr. , Edison, NJ 08817. 

Basten, Fred E. An Illustrated Guide to the 
Legendary Trees of Santa Monica Bay. 
Santa Monica: Graphics Press, 1980. 
$10.95 (P a pe r )- Order from: Graphics 
Press, 3010 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 
406, Santa Monica, CA 90404. 

Davis, Leonard M. Profiles Out of the Past: 
A Biographical History ofRoseville, From 
Its Earliest Days to the Present. Roseville: 
Roseville Community Projects, 1982. 
Order from: Roseville Community Proj- 
ects, 424 Oak Street, Roseville, CA 

Encyclopedia of California, 2nd ed. St. Clair 
Shores: Somerset Publishers, 1982. 
$87.50. Order from: Somerset Publish- 
ers, Division of Scholarly Press, Inc., 
19722 E. Nine Mile Road, St. Clair 
Shores, MI 48080. 

Evans, Rowland and Robert Novak. The 
Reagan Revolution. New York: E.P. Dut- 
ton, 1981. Order from: E.P. Dutton, 2 
Park Avenue, New York, New York 

Fontanini, Steve and Bill Wittich (photog- 
raphers). Chester Place: Mount St. Mary's 
College, Dohney Campus, Los Angeles. Los 
Angeles: Mt. Saint Mary's College, 
1982. $15 (paper). Order from: Mt. Saint 
Mary's College, 12001 Chalon Road, Los 
Angeles, CA 90049. 

Foster, Lee. Adventures in California Coun- 
try. Beaverton: Beautiful America Pub- 
lishing Co., 1981. $4.95 (paper). Order 
from: Beautiful America Publishing Co., 
Post Office Box 608, Beaverton, OR 

Grapes and Grape Vines of California . . . 
Under the Auspices of the California Viti- 
culture Association . . . From Original 
Watercolors by Miss Hannah Millard. San 
Francisco: E. Bosqui & Company, 1877. 
Reprinted: New York: Harcourt Brace 
Jovanovich, 1981. Order from: Harcourt 
Brace Jo vanovich, Inc., 757 Third 
Avenue, New York, New York 10017. 

Hanson, Dirk. The New Alchemists: Silicon 
Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. 
Boston: Little, Brown, 1982. $15.95. 
Order from: Little, Brown & Co. , 34 
Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02106. 

Horton.Tom. SuperSpan: TheGoldenGate 
Bridge. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 
1982. $8.95 (paper). Order from: Chron- 
icle Books, 870 Market Street, San Fran- 
cisco, CA 94102. 

Houston, James D. Califomians: Searching 
for the Golden State. New York: Knopf, 
1982. $15.95. Order from: Alfred A. 
Knopf, Inc., 40oHahn Road, Westmin- 
ster, MD 21157. 

Isaacs, Arline (comp.). Who's Cooking in 
Laguna Beach? Laguna Beach: SunBox 
Press, 1980. $15.95. Order from: Sun- 
Box Press, 750 Alta Vista Way, Laguna 
Beach, CA 92651. 

Jensen, Larry. The Movie Railroads. Bur- 
bank: Darwin Publications, 198 1. Order 
from: Darwin Publications, 850 N. Hol- 
lywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505. 

Lantis, David W. California, Land of Con- 
trast, revised 3rd ed. Dubuque: Kendall/ 
Hunt Publishing Co., 1981. Order from: 
Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 2460 
Kerper Blvd., Dubuque, I A 52001. 

Lees, David and Stan Berkowitz. The 
Movie Business. New York: Vintage 
Books, 1981. Order from: Random 

House, Inc., 400 Hahn Road, Westmin- 
ster, MD 21157. 

Lewis, Jerry with Herb Gluck. Jerry Lewis: 
In Person. New York: Atheneum, 1982. 
$14.95. Order from: Scribner Distribu- 
tion Center, Vreeland Avenue, Boro of 
Totowa, Paterson, NJ 07512. 

Lindberg, David R. Acmaeidae: Gastropoda, 
Mollusca; Invertebrates of the San Francisco 
Bay Estuary System. Pacific Grove: Box- 
wood Press, 1981. $12.50. Order from: 
Boxwood Press, 183 Ocean View Blvd., 
Pacific Grove, CA 93950. 

Los Angeles in Your Pocket. Woodbury: 
Barron's, 1982. $1.95 (paper). Order 
from: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 
113 Crossways Park Drive, Woodbury, 
NY 1 1797. 

Luchetti, Cathy and Carol Olwell. Women 
of the West. St. George: Antelope Island 
Press, 1982. $25.00. Order from: Ante- 
lope Island Press, Post Office Box 220, 
St. George, UT 84770. 

McGill, William J. The Year of the Monkey : 
Revolt on the Campus, ig68-ig6g. New 
York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. $15.95. 
Order from: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 
1 22 1 Avenue of the Americas, New 
York, New York 10020. 

Miller, Darlis A. The California Column in 
New Mexico. Albuquerque: University of 
New Mexico Press, 1982. $19.95. Order 
from: University of New Mexico Press, 
Albuquerque, NM 87131. 

Miller, Edrick J. The SAAAB [Santa Ana 
Army Air Base] Story. Costa Mesa: Ed- 
rick J. Miller, 1981. $22.50. Sketches by 
Patricia M. Miller; Sponsored by the 
Costa Mesa Historical Society and the 
SAAAB Wing. Order from: EdnckJ. 
Miller, 3257 Idaho Lane, Costa Mesa, 
CA 92626. 

Mutnick, Dorothy Gittinger. Some Alta 
California Pioneers and Descendants, 2 vol- 
umes. Volume I: Pioneers of the Anza Ex- 
pedition and Descendants , 1776-1852. Vol- 
ume II: Additional Pioneers of 1781 and 


California History 

Unit Descendants 1 afayette: Past I imes 
Public .Hums. [982. $150.00. Order from: 
Past I imes Publications, 755 Glenside 
Drive, I afayette, ( 'A 94549. 

Myres, Sandra 1 . Westering Womenandthe 
Frontlet Experience, 1800-1915. Albuquer- 
que: University of New Mexico Press, 
[982. $19.95 (cloth), $9.95 (paper). 
Order from: University of New Mexico 
Press, Albuquerque, NM 8713 1. 

New sum, [oseph C. Artistic Buildings and 
Homo <>/ I a's Anodes. Originally pub- 
lished in [888. Reprinted: Los Angeles: 
Calliope Press. 1981. S9.95 (paper). 
Order from: Calliope Press, Post Office 
Box 2273, N. Hollywood, CA 91602. 

Nicholson, Loren and Bernice Loughran. 
Pathways \ in Siin Luis Obispo County]. San 
Luis Obispo: New Paradigm Press, 1982. 
S3. 95 (paper). Order from: New Para- 
digm Press, 1415 Morro Street, No. 15, 
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. 

Powers, Bob. Indian Country of the Tubatu- 
labal. Tucson: Westernlore Press, 198 1. 
Order from: Westernlore Press, Post 
Office Box 35305, Tucson, AZ 85740. 

Rapoport, Roger. California Dreaming: 
The Political Odyssey of Pat and Jerry 
Brown. Occidental: Nolo Press, 1982. 
S9.95. Order from: Nolo Press, Post 
Office Box 544, Occidental, CA 95465. 

Reece, Daphne. Historic Houses of Califor- 
nia: A Directory of Restored Historic Struc- 
tures You Can Visit in California. San Fran- 
cisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. $7.95 
(paper). Order from: Chronicle Books, 
870 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 

Reinstedt, Randall A. Incredible Ghosts of 
the Big Sur Coast. Incredible Ghost Series, 
no. 2. Carmel: Ghost Town Publica- 
tions, 1982. $2.95. Order from: Ghost 
Town Publications, Post Office Drawer 
5998, Carmel, Ca 93921. 

Romo, Ricardo. East Los Angeles: History 
of a Barrio. Austin: University of Texas 
Press, 1983. Order from: University of 
Texas Press, Post Office Box 7819, 
Austin, TX 78712. 

St. Pierre, Brian and Jennie Low. The Fla- 
vor of Chinatown: The Insider's Guide to 
San Francisco's Famous Chinese District. 
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1982. 
$5.95 (paper). Order from: Chronicle 
Books, 870 Market Street, San Francisco, 
CA 94102. 

Schurman, Dewey (ed.). Headlines: A His- 
tory oj Santa Barbara from the Pages of its 
Newspapers, 1855-1982. Santa Barbara: 
News-Press Publishing Company, 1982. 
$19.95. Order from: Capra Press, Post 
Office Box 2068, Santa Barbara, CA 

Stoebe, Martha G. The History of Alta 
Loma, California, 1880-1980. Written in 
collaboration with Hazel Stoebe Billings 
and Wallace Stoebe. Alta Loma: B & S 
PublishingCo., 1981. Order from: B& S 
Publishing Co., Post Office Box 55, Alta 
Loma, CA 91701. 

Teiscr, Ruth and Catherine Harroun. 
Winemaking in California. New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1982. S24.95. Order 
from: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 
1 22 1 Avenue of the Americas, New 
York, NY 10020. 

Thompson, Charles. Bob Hope: Portrait of a 
Superstar. New York: St. Martin's, 1981. 
Order from: St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth 
Avenue, New York, New York 10010. 

Turner, Lana. Lana: The Lady, the Legend, 
the Truth. New York: Dutton, 1982. 
$14.95. Order from: E.P. Dutton, 2 Park 
Avenue, New York, NY 10016. 

Ward, Estolv E. The Gentle Dynamiter: A 
Biography of Tom Mooney. Palo Alto: 
Ramparts Press, 1982. $15.00 (cloth), 
$6.95 (paper). Order from: Ramparts 
Press, Box 50128, Palo Alto, CA 94303. 

Warner, S.M. (comp.). Backcountry 
Annals: Gleanings from Records of San 
Diego County, California. Piano: The 
Fifth Wheel, Etc., 1982. $12.00 (paper). 
Order from: The Fifth Wheel, Etc., 2504 
Westridge Drive, Piano, TX 75075. 

Waters, Alice. The Chez Panisse Menu 
Cookbook. New York: Random House, 
1982. $16.95. Order from: Random 
House, Inc., 400 Hahn Road, Westmin- 
ster, MD 21157. 

Weber, Francis J. Maynard Geiger , OFM, 
Archivist-Historian . Monterey: Hilleary & 
Petko, 1982. $12.00. Order from: Daw- 
son's Book Shop, 535 No. Larchmont 
Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004. 

Wieman, Harold. Nature Walks Along the 
San Luis Coast. San Luis Obispo: Padre 
Publications, 1980. $3.95. Order from: 
Padre Publications, Post Office Box 
1275, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406. 

Yacowar, Maurice. Method in Madness: 
The Comic Art of Mel Brooks. New York: 
St. Martin's, 198 1. Order from: St. 
Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New 
York, NY 10010. 


'December Titfiibition: 

'Water colors and Oils by 

<Percy Qray 


Qatteries Ltd. 

551 Sutter Street • San 'Jrancisco 

"Oak 'Tree with San 'Jrancisco 'Bay, " oil an canvas, 16 \ 20" 

"A ripe, utterly engrossing version of the California gold rush of 
1848 that stands out from earlier books."-Booklist 

"An uncanny feel for the places and personalities."-Los Angeles Times 

The discovery of gold near Sutter's mill in 1848 
brought men and women from every direction, 
through deserts and plains, across the ocean and 
around the cape, to the Sacramento Valley of 
California. Gold Dust not only tells the authentic 
story of the forty-niners in all its sweep, color, and 
variety, but chronicles the beginning of California's 
transformation into the Golden State. 382 pages, 
illustrated. Paper BB 813 $8.95 

University of Nebraska Press 


Donald Dale Jackson 


901 N. 17th Lincoln 68588 

Coming Through: 
A Wells Fargo Tradition. 

A rare combination of personal effort 
and banking innovation built Wells Fargo 

And Wells Fargo has been helping the 
West grow since 1852. 

Today in California, across the continent 
and around the world, Wells Fargo is still 
coming through. 

Wells Fargo Bank 


and the 


A 1841 California Pioneer 
His Narrative and other Documents. 

The following articles are published in book form for the first time. Hopper's 
narrative (He was a member of the 1841 Bartleson-Bidwell Party) William Guy 
Paden, Thesis, James Findle, Statement and Minnie Beatrice Heath, "The First 
Pioneer Woman to Cross the Plains." 

Edited by Franklin Beard 

Write Southern Mines Press 

P. 0. Box 200 La Grange, California 95329 

1981, Quarto, buckram, 160 pages, mylar cover. 

Limited to 350 signed copies. 

$60.00 plus tax and $2.00 mailing cost 

California Conquered 

War and Peace on the Pacific, 1846-1850 
by Neal Harlow 

In California Conquered, Harlow recounts the efforts of President Polk and his agents — the timorous Sloat, the 
elusive Fremont, the egotistical and domineering Stockton, and the brave if bumptious Gillespie — to capture 
and hold California. Everything portrayed in this captivating book actually happened, or so the record tells, and 
if any bias underlies the author's account, it is his belief that men, issues, and 
events can be interesting in their own right, without exaggeration. $19.95 until 
12/31/82, $25.00 thereafter; 57 illustrations 

New in paperback — 

Bitter Harvest 

A History of California Farmworkers, 1870-1941 
by Cletus E. Daniel 

' 'The finest scholarly study yet to appear on the history of Cali- 
fornia farmworkers. "— MelvinDubof sky "A crisply written, at 
times eloquent book. "—David Brody $8.95 

University of California Press 

Berkeley 94720 


From Italy to San Francisco 

77^ Immigrant Experience 


This study of a 2,000-family sample of 
Italians who immigrated to San Fran- 
cisco from the 1850's to the 1930's takes 
in three generations — the immigrants 
themselves, their parents in nine selected 
communities in Italy, and their children 
born in San Francisco. Regional differ- 
ences profoundly affected the immi- 
grants' adaptation to American life, yet a 
common pattern is discernible: a slow 

transition up the scale from campanilismo 
(identification with one's home town), 
first to regional loyalty, then to Italian 
nationalism, and finally to assimilation. 
Woven throughout the account are the 
lives of individual Italians, from the 
prominent banker A. P. Giannini to 
obscure fishermen and peddlers, who 
have contributed to the colorful history 
of San Francisco. Illustrated. $25.00 

Order from your bookstore, please 

Stanford University Press 




Need a convenient, good-looking 
way to store your copies of 
California History magazine? 

Handsome, functional shelf binders are now- 
available for your ongoing collection of the Cali- 
fornia Historical Society's quarterly. Durably 
constructed, the binders have classic burgundy 
cloth covers imprinted with California History in 
gold ink. Each binder, which holds four issues, will 
be a valuable addition to your orderly bookshelf. 
Protecting your copies of California History from wear and soil, the easy-to-load binders are 
convenient for quick reference or browsing through back issues. Binder size is g x 1 1 x 2 inches. 
CHS is offering these binders to members at an affordable price of $6.50. An excellent value! 

Send $6.50 for each binder, 6% or 6V2 % tax (as applicable) , plus postage and handling (95^ first binder and 3 $t each 
additional binder) with your name and address to Book Department, CHS, 2ocjojackson Street, San Francisco 
94109. MasterCharge/VISA Card orders also accepted. 


announces the publication of 


A Critical Bibliography of Exploration, Adventure 

and Travel in the American West, 1800-1865 

By Henry R. Wagner & Charles L. Camp 

Fourth Edition 

Revised, Enlarged and Edited by Robert H. Becker 

Designed and Printed by Andrew Hoyem at the Arion Press 

$150.00 plus sales tax where applicable 
"as close to definitive as any bibliography is likely to be." 
— Lawrence S. Thompson 


434 Post Street 

San Francisco, California 94102 

CHS Register of Historic California Businesses 

rhc California Historical Society recognizes the following centennial business tor their support of the new Register of 
1 [istoric ( California Businesses. The Register program seeks to preserve and promote the state's business and economic 
history and to provide special recognition tor businesses that have existed in California for over one hundred years. 


Chevron USA, Inc., S.m Francisco 
Foremost-McKesson Foundation, 

s.m Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 


Homestake Mining Company, 
San Francisco 

Pacific Telephoned: Telegraph Company, 
San Francisco 


Barker Bros., Los Angeles 
Cuittard Chocolate Company, 

Halstead-N. Gray, San Francisco 
McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 
Sherman & Clay Co., San Bruno 


Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco 
Ducommun, Incorporated, Los Angeles 
Gensler-Lee Diamonds, San Francisco 
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, 

San Francisco 
Haas Brothers, San Francisco 
MJB Coffee, San Francisco 
Patrick & Co., San Francisco 

CHS Donors 


Mrs. Alysse W. Allen, San Francisco 
Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr., 

San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. RobertJ. Banning, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 
The Broadway Department Stores, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Joesph K. Cannell, Pasadena 
Chevron, USA, Inc. San Francisco 
The S.H. Cowell Foundation, 

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Mrs. Charles E. Osthimer III, 

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I'AIKON Ssooo-up 

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M I II IATE— $2500-4999 

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BENEFACTOR— $500-999 

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THE CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, founded in 1 871, is a non-profit institution with regional centers in Los 
Angeles, San Francisco, and San Marino. CHS engages in and encourages the statewide collection, preservation, 
interpretation and dissemination of the history of California and makes the Society's resources available for education, 
research, and enjoyment. 

A quarterly journal published by CHS since 1922, California History features articles by leading scholars and writers 
focusing on the heritage of California and the West from pre-Columbian to modern times. Illustrated articles, pictorial 
essays and book reviews examine the ongoing dialogue between the past and the present. 


Robert}. Banning, Pasadena 

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North Baker, San Francisco 
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Mrs. Ernest Bryant, Laguna Beach 
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George Ditz,Jr., San Francisco 
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James R. Galbraith, Encino 
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Remi Nadeau, Santa Barbara 
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Richard W. Reinhardt, San Francisco 
Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
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Hart Tantau, San Francisco 
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R. Lock wood Tower, San Francisco 
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Trustee Emeritus 
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President Emeritus 
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Director Emeritus 


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Donald T. Hata,Jr., Sacramento 

Historic Resources 
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Director; Joy Berry, Jocelyn Moss, Judith 
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California Director. 

EL MOLINO VIEJO: Margaret O. Eley, 
Director; John E. Anderson, Caretaker. 

HISTORY CENTER: James P. Crowell, 
Curator; William Wurtz, Assistant Curator. 

Richard W. Reinhardt, Chairman; Frank G. 
Goodall, Donald Hata, Bruce L.Johnson, 
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McArdel, W. Michael Mathes, Henry 
Mayer, Knox Mellon, Jr. , Luther Nichols, 
Robert H. Power, Charles Wollenberg 

Individual copies $4. 00 
Published quarterly ©1982 by CHS 

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$ 10.00 of each CHS membership is 
designated for subscription to California 



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Articles for publication, books for review and editorial 
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LC 75-640289/ISSN 0612-2897 
Second-class postage paid at San Francisco 
Publication number 084180 

3 Winter 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society 

winter 1983 

California Snapshots 


Weary but pleased with the day's catch of black sea bass off Santa Catalina Island, 
these tum-of-the-century anglers, one with thin stogie in hand, pose for a seaside 
camera catering to thefishing trade. 
California Historical Society, San Francisco 

CO VER: In Carleton Watkins' early morning view of the barnyard at Lakeside 
Ranch near Bakersfield, prosperity and order reign. The mowers are moving out, 
crews are bringing hay to the bam, and two foremen pause before departing for their 
field tasks. In the center of the carefully arranged composition, in front of the roofed 
artesian well, stand two authoritative ranch managers. Library of Congress, 
Washington, D.C. 

California History 

The Magazine of the California Historical Society 


QT 1 4! 


FEB 14 
pEE2 6 




Acting Director 




Reviews Editor 




Editorial Consultants 


A Kern County Diary: The Forgotten Photographs 
of Carleton E. Watkins, 1881-1888 242 


The Voyage of the Kanrin Mam to San Francisco 264 


Duelling Skis 276 


From Condemnation to Praise: Shifting Perspectives 
on Hispanic California 282 


The Byron Rail Disaster 2g2 


Will the Bay Bridges End San Francisco's Isolation? 302 


Book Reviews 306 
California Check List jog 
Volume Contents 321 
Volume Index 323 

Richard Steven Street 

Photographs of rural nineteenth-century California 
are often deceptive, resurrecting order and beauty 
from a context that knew only muscle and sweat. 
This is especially true of the monumental, static 
views of wheatfields dotted with huge harvest ma- 
chines and proud, strategically placed workers. Oc- 
casionally, however, a unique image comes to light 
— a photograph that stimulates the mind and cuts 
through the artful camouflage of historical memory. 
One such image was made by photographer Carleton 
E. Watkins on the flat, hot plains near Bakersfield, 
California, in 1888. Essentially a group portrait 
framed by heavy, black machinery and obscuring 
dust, it is a haunting record of nineteenth-century 
men engaged in the exhausting, dangerous work of 
farming. * 

That such an untraditional photograph exists is 
itself a revelation; that it was made by famed Califor- 
nia landscape photographer Carleton Watkins is even 
more astounding. Part of a larger body of rural pho- 
tographs, the image reveals a phase of Watkins' 
career and a dimension of his photography that has 
previously been only dimly perceived. It shows that 
Watkins — though appreciated for his views of Yo- 
semite Valley, Oregon, and the Sierra Nevada — was 
more than a prospector of fine landscapes. He was 
also a working commercial photographer whose ter- 
ritory was the entire American West. During the 
summer of 1888, toward the end of his long photo- 
graphic career, he made 726 views documenting the 
Bakersfield region of Kern County just as the area 
was being opened and intensely promoted for settle- 

Thc author won the James D. Phelan Award for his scholarly 
account of the origins of California agriculture. He is presently 
completing a history of California farm workers, 1769-1982. 
This four-volume study with photographs is based on 600 man- 
uscript collections ranging from mission archives and the papers 
of Cesar Chavez to material in the Bank of America archives and 
declassified F.B.I, files. 

ment and development. Totally unlike any other 
photographs of California made at this time, these 
arresting images are unique historical documents that 
evoke the texture of rural life almost a century ago. 
As well, they reveal a little known facet of the aging 
Watkins' photographic practices. 2 

Almost nothing has been written about Watkins' 
Kern County photography, mainly because few of 
his records and correspondence have survived. Nor 
are the standard historical sources — reminiscences, 
newspapers, local records — of much help in piecing 
together this shadowy period of Watkins' life. 
Hence, this significant episode must be reconstructed 
from a few bare facts and the images themselves, 
most of them recently discovered in Kern County 
archives. 3 

Watkins' friendship with millionaire James B. 
Haggin appears to hold the key to the photographer's 
sojourn in Kern County. The two men had become 
acquainted in 1873 while members of the San Fran- 
cisco Art Association, and Haggin had subsequently 
employed Watkins to photograph enterprises in 
which Haggin was involved such as the Anaconda 
Copper Mine in Montana and the Comstock Mine in 
Nevada. This arrangement eventually brought Wat- 
kins to Kern County during January 1881, when he 
photographed Haggin's Kern River dam and irriga- 
tion works. In March 1881, Watkins presented the 
results of this assignment — eight mammoth albu- 
men prints measuring 14 X 21 inches — along with 
testimony in Lux us. Haggin, one of California's most 
important suits over water rights. 4 

In the summer of 1 888 , as Haggin formulated plans 
to promote and sell vast tracts of farm land southwest 
of Bakersfield, he once again called upon the photo- 
graphic talents of his old friend. This time, however, 
he was uninterested in obtaining fine "art" views to 
grace his walls or assist in his litigations. Rather, 
Haggin wanted images that would draw people to 

(Continued on page 246) 


A Kern County Diary 

The Forgotten Photographs of 

Carleton E. Watkins 


The fourth in a sequence of five progressively closer images of wheat threshing made on Greenfields Ranch, 
this imposed close-up conveys some of the danger, noise, and dust of agricultural work on 
the large ranches around Bakersfield. Tenneco West. Bakcrsficld 

Cataloging every aspect of dairy ranching, Watkins pho- 
tographed n\ilk pans standing to produce cream at the 
Cotton Ranch Dairy near Bakersfield. Tenneco West, 

At Mountain View Dairy southwest of bakersfield, Wat- 
kins photographed a crew processing milk and making cheese 
under the eye of a watchful superintendent (right). Poplar 
trees, three years old and already twenty-five feet high , shade 
the chute conducting milk from the milking shed in the 
background to the dairy house. Bealc Memorial Library, 

This still life slum's boxed "Late George" 
t ling peaches grown, as the printed legend 
certifies, on Bakersfield trees "but thirty 
months old. " Henry E. Huntington Li- 
brary, San Marino 

Eager to attract settlers and investors, the 
Kern County Board of Trade promoted the 
region's agricultural potential by shipping 
bales of alfalfa, baskets of fruit, and jars of 
specialty crops to the 1889 Mechanics ' Insti- 
tute hair in San l-'rancisco. Lining one wall 
of the display , Carleton Watkins' photo- 
graphs provided undeniable evidence of the 
attractiveness and prosperity of the still 
largely barren area. Henry E. Hunting- 
ton Library, San Marino 

■ v 



■ v - ■ 

E itV- 8 


«■& It' 


** X 

KB?' li *■ 






California History 

Kern County to buy land and settle on farms. Wat- 
kins' assignment, therefore, was to conduct a visual 
inventory of the Haggin property and portrayed it in 
all its most civilized glory. These photographs were 
eventually used to illustrate various printed promo- 
tional advertisements. 5 

Watkins' preparations for his southern San Joaquin 
Valley trip must have been extensive. Packing and 
loading his equipment for the 315-mile journey from 
San Francisco no doubt required several days. While 
the local newspapers reported neither his prepara- 
tions nor departure, Watkins probably followed his 
well-established pattern of leasing two rail cars — one 
for his horses and traveling wagon, the other as quar- 
ters for living and working — and using his annual 
rail pass provided by Southern Pacific Railroad Presi- 
dent Collis P. Huntington. Once in Bakersfield, 
Watkins probably had his cars pulled off on a siding 
where he could unload his equipment. Since Haggin 
and his partner in land holdings, Lloyd Tevis, as well 
as various other wealthy Nob Hill San Francisco 
acquaintances, maintained residences in Bakersfield, 
Watkins may have stopped to visit with them. 6 

Watkins' activities were briefly noted in the July 7, 
1888, issue of the Kern County Californian, a weekly 
newspaper long hostile to every aspect of Haggin's 
schemes. Reporting little more than the presence of 
the "noted photographer," the journal did carry one 
significant piece of information, a reference to Wat- 
kins' earlier activity in Bakersfield during the fall of 
1887, when he apparently photographed many local 
homes and estates. 7 

The only extended description of Watkins' photo- 
graphic mission in Kern County appeared in the Cali- 
fornian on July 21: 

Mr. C.E. Watkins, the eminent photographer of San Fran- 
cisco, is in Kern County taking views of various ranches 
and picturesque scenes. This is an unusual opportunity for 
those who want photographs of their property to have 

them taken. Mr. Watkins will visit any place desired. His 
charge is only $6 per dozen for the 8X10 size, and others 
in proportion. We advise our people to apply at once, as 
Mr. Watkins will be here but a few days. Orders left at 
Maude's stationery store, or through the post office, will 
receive prompt attention. 8 

Four aspects of this article are notable. The first is 
the description of Watkins as an "eminent" photog- 
rapher, a phrase demonstrating high public regard 
for Watkins even at this late stage of his career. The 
second is the price Watkins charged for his photo- 
graphs, which was no more than what several local 
photographers were asking. The third point to note is 
the arrangement with Maude's Stationery Store, 
which reveals Watkins' alertness to any residual sales 
of his photographs to individual clients. The fourth 
and most illuminating piece of information is the 
report that Watkins was selling 8 X 10-inch prints, an 
indication that he may have converted from his fa- 
vored mammoth-size wet plates to commercially 
manufactured, pre-coated, pre-sensitized 8 x 
10-inch plates. 9 

Watkins spent from early July until the middle of 
August in the area around Bakersfield taking photo- 
graphs. He was accompanied by a small group of 
men from the Haggin-Tevis land operations, as well 
as foremen and managers from the Henry Miller- 
Charles Lux ranching operations, who guided Wat- 
kins and his assistant (probably Watkins' all-around 
helper, Charlie Stuples) from one site to another. 10 

Temperatures on the plains surrounding Bakers- 
field hovered between 100 and no degrees through- 
out July. This must have drained the 58 year-old 
photographer, who for many years had been suffer- 
ing from rheumatism and leg problems. Moreover, 
the work proceeded very slowly, in part because of 
Watkins' age, ill-health, and the heat, in part because 
of the size of the photographic party and extensive 
equipment, but primarily because the Haggin-Tevis 


Kern County Diary 

land holdings were so widely scattered. n 

Watkins averaged about twenty-four photographs 
each day. Normally, he photographed between three 
and six scenes at each site before moving on. It was 
very deliberate photography, under less than ideal 
conditions, but Watkins seems to have maintained 
his good nature during these hot mcanderings. Ac- 
cording to one account based on an interview with 
Watkins' daughter, the veteran camera artist had re- 
turned from a full day of work north of Bakersfield 

he found the property owners were having an elaborate 
dinner party. They invited him to join them. Watkins had 
only his old work clothes, and his one white shirt was 
dirty. Nevertheless, they insisted he join the gay party, 
and promised that they would dress him up. Whereupon 
Watkins washed his shirt, and his hosts produced a linen 
duster, nattily cut in the shape of a swallow tail coat. While 
everyone else at the affair was in full dress, Watkins was 
the life of the party dressed in the improvised coat. 12 


n the 700-odd Bakersfield photographs, ranches, 
ranch products, and ranch life were Watkins' main 
subjects. Giving today's viewer a distinct and well- 
rounded impression of the area, these images were 
photographed by Watkins almost a century ago to 
inventory in a sympathetic manner diverse aspects of 
the Haggin land empire. On the same expedition 
Watkins also photographed buildings and gardens 
for the valley's few wealthy land owners, docu- 
mented the recently completed Southern Hotel 
(where Haggin had his headquarters) and much of 
downtown Bakersfield (it would burn down within 
one year), surveyed the Southern Pacific switching 
yards at Sumner Station, executed a number of pas- 
toral views, and made innumerable portraits of valley 
residents including ranch managers, farm hands, and 
pioneer families. 13 

Although the subject matter was conventional and 
prescribed, Watkins did not treat the images as rou- 
tine. Balancing mundane surroundings with his deep 
commitment to artistry, he turned a simple view of 
an irrigation canal into a study of water bringing life 
to the desert. A photograph of farmers posing with 
oversize sugar beets or giant corn stalks became a 
suggestive presentation of Kern County's agricul- 
tural potential. As Watkins' biographer Peter Palm- 
quist has observed, Watkins' photographs of Kern 
County succeed because, despite the commonness of 
his subjects, Watkins always approached them with a 
careful eye for composition, texture, and the imprint 
of humanity on the raw landscape. u 

While Watkins' photographs contain a heightened 
sense of a particular time and place — they are what 
we would have seen or understood had we been in the 
valley with him — the images are also akin to pages in 
a diary. A close reading reveals heretofore hidden 
aspects of Watkins' working methodology and vi- 
sion. Some of the images are surprising, some are far 
in advance of their time. ^ 

Most of Watkins' ranch pictures suggest a similar 
sequence of setting up a camera as he approached, 
taking an overview, photographing the entrance to 
the ranch, then moving on to document barns, sta- 
bles, orchards and fields. If the ranch had a special 
cow, an artesian well, a champion race horse, or a fine 
garden, Watkins carefully recorded it. Next he 
would turn to the harvest crew or some behemoth 
farm machinery. Finally, as he left, he made another 
view. Telling the story through a sequence of long, 
medium, and close-up views, Watkins used a very 
modern approach closely resembling the technique 
of the contemporary photo essayist. 16 

Unlike the present-day essayist, however, Wat- 
kins liked to arrange people, in effect to "direct" the 
making of his pictures, particularly those involving 
large groups. His ranch photographs therefore frc- 

l Continual on page 254) 


Ice-cold, slightly carbonated and free, water from wells in 
eastern Kern County's "artesian belt" was praised by land 
developers who adjusted the price of the land accordingly . 
Driving out into the creosote and sagebrush, Watkins cap- 
tured a prospective aging farmer and his wife admiring their 
fountain of life with the drilling crew who brought it in. The 
portable shack had probably been pulled in on skids from 
Bakersfield. Library ot Congress 

Beneath two weeping willows shading the water storage 
tanks, the artesian well at the superintendent's residence on 
Greenfield's Ranch reportedly gushed jj,ooo gallons of 
water per day . In the background are the men 's dining room, 
the blacksmith shop, and the great barn. Kern County 
Museum, Bakersfield 

By the late 1 88os, the plains surrounding Bakersfield had been so covered by irrigation canals 

that aqueducts were necessary to carry one body of running water over another. Here Watkins shows 

the wooden flume of Farmer's Canal crossing the Panama Ditch. His long, two or three-second 

exposure transforms an ordinary view into a scene of bucolic serenity. Tenncco West, Bakersfield 

The Calloway Canal was completed in 187Q by James B. Haggin and William B. Can, 
who owned the land on its eastern bank. In this view, Watkins distilled the essence of the role 
played by Kern River water in the area's development. Tenneco West, Bakersfield 

Built in 1875, the Kern (Amiity Court House claimed a 
publit square of two acres, surrounded by poplar trees, blue 
grass, and white clover. Referring to it as the "Goddess of 
Liberty, " locals believed it was one of the most beautiful 
parks in the state. Tenneco West, Bakersfield 

Burned in the July t88gfire which destroyed much of 
Bakersfield, the Southern Hotel, at the corner of Nineteenth 
Street and Chester Avenue, was a monument to the town's 
civic optimism. It was also the center of town life. James B. 
Haggin had his land office there; Black's Pharmacy, the 
telegraph office, a barbershop, the French Laundry, a paint 
store, and a printing shop shared the ground floor. The San 
Francisco architects McDougall and Son designed the build- 
ing. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino 


. m^mmm pmmmm • 

In 1878, businessman Paul Galtes erected Bakersfield's first 

brick building, which also featured a plate glass window. 

The advertisement spanning the sidewalk reads: "The 

slaughter knife will be driven deep, and prices cut to pieces. 

Come in and see. " Tenneco West, Bakersfield 

On a barren, sandy lot, trees were planted in 1884 and a 

mansard-roof house built in 1887. "In the best of the good old 

states east of the Rockies, it would require ten to fifteen years 

to reach similar results, " stressed the caption affixed to this 

Watkins photograph of exemplary home life in Bakersfield. 

Beale Memorial Library, Bakersfield 

Southeast oj Bakersfield, the Southern Pacifii tracks to Los Angeles doubled back 
upon themselves in ordertogain elevation. Accordingly, the caboose of an 85-cartrain 
would pass under its engine directly above. Tins construction marvel, described by one 
newspaper as being as "crooked and devious as San Francisco politicians, " was the 
focus oj extensive publu curiosity. On this photographic print, Watkins directed an 
assistant to draw a line oj tiny dots and dashes tracing the railroad's circuitous route. 
California Section, California State Library, Sacramento 


The Southern Pacific Railroad bypassed Ba- 
kersfield because the town 's citizens refused 
to appropriate the customary subsidy required 
for establishing a station in town. Heine, 
the switching yards, roundhouse, and ware- 
house were located a mile-and-a-halfto the 
northeast, where Watkins made this photo- 
graph. It is typical of many railroad pictures 
executed during his career. Tenneco West, 

The Southern Pacific's main line to the east 
crossed the Kern River on this bridge a mile 
north of Bakersfield and a quarter-mile down- 
stream from the diversion headgates of the 
Haggin and Tevis irrigation complex. Beale 
Memorial Library, Bakersfield 

California History 

quently depict workers in the midst of some key 
activity and at the apex of action — the instant during 
a hay-stacking operation when the hay fork was 
swung high into position, or the moment near day- 
break when a wheat harvest crew paused before 
moving out of the ranch enclosure into the fields. 17 

Watkins probably used a "cap, un-cap" procedure 
in making these pictures, and his exposures in the 
open sunlight lasted about one-fifth of a second. Had 
the exposures been longer — in the range of two to 
three seconds each — most of the animals would have 
moved and become blurs. Watkins' exposures were 
never short enough to freeze action totally, however, 
as the whirling windmills in many barnyard scenes 
clearly demonstrate. 18 

A careful evaluation of Watkins' Kern County 
views suggests another highly unusual and little 
known aspect of the photographer's working tech- 
nique: his habit of photographing from the roof of his 
traveling wagon at a height of about fifteen feet. 
Particularly well suited to the flat and unspectacular 
Kern County landscape, the technique helped trans- 
form undramatic views into interesting scenic vistas 
rich with information. 19 

Watkins made many of his photographs in soft, 
early morning light. In part this was an accommoda- 
tion to the realities of farm life where people rose 
early and began work just after dawn. Group pictures 
portraying harvesting could only be done at this 
time. But Watkins' use of early morning light also 
stemmed from his desire to avoid the heat and harsh 
light of mid-day July in the southern San Joaquin 
Valley. Additionally, Watkins' early morning work 
freed him to do portraiture in the open shade of farm 
buildings during the late afternoon when people had 
returned from the fields and had time to pose. 20 

Watkins recorded his own shadow, as well as the 
shadow of his tripod and the dark camera drape, in 
some of these early morning photographs, but there 

is other evidence of the photographer's presence. 
Some views reveal the ears and heads of his horses 
protruding into a corner. Others show Watkins' 
traveling buggy parked on a bridge or in the middle 
of a field, in such a position to give a sense of scale to 
various elements in the landscape. One of the Kern 
County photographs may even include Watkins 
himself. It shows a group of men camped in front of a 
large tree with Watkins' photographic wagon at the 
right. In the center is a white-bearded man wearing a 
long smock and big hat who is of Watkins' exact 
build and appearance. 21 


hat was the subsequent history of Watkin's Kern 
County photographs from mid-summer 1888? The 
story is unclear. Watkins probably processed his glass 
plates when he returned to Bakersfield and eventually 
shipped them back to his San Francisco studio at 427 
Montgomery Street. Here his Chinese assistant no 
doubt devoted several weeks to the task of printing 
images from the glass negatives, mounting the prints 
on heavy rag board, and affixing extensive type-set 
captions to the boards. All Watkins' post-1875 works 
were given a "New Series" label. 22 

During September 1888, the Kern County Board 
of Trade purchased two dozen of these photographs. 
In size, some measured 14 X 21 inches rather than 
approximately 8 X 10 inches, which would have been 
standard for pre-coated photographic plates. This 
suggests that they might have been prints from an 
earlier assignment, most likely Watkins' 1881 survey 
of the Kern River, when he was still using his mam- 
moth wet-plate camera. It is also possible that Wat- 
kins used both an 8 X 10-inch dry-plate camera and a 
14 X 21-inch wet-plate camera on his 1888 assign- 
ment. 23 

Mounted in attractive wooden frames behind 


Kern County Diary 

glass, these Kern County prints were exhibited in San 
Francisco at the twenty-fourth Mechanics' Institute 
Industrial Fair. Trade journals praised the way they 
were displayed — flanked by jars of preserves, pyra- 
mids of jumbo fruits, mounds of fine vegetables, 
stands of corn, and drapes of colorful bunting and 
paper streamers. Breeder and Sportsman described the 
Watkins photographs as the most attractive element 
in Kern County's exhibit. 24 

In October, several volumes of Watkins' Kern 
County photographs — now bound in hefty albums 
adorned with maroon covers and inlaid gold titles — 
went on sale at A.C. Maude's Stationery Store in 
Bakersfield. Priced at $30 per album, or $oi per pho- 
tograph complete with embossed Watkins' logo 
("considerable less than the actual cost," according to 
Maude's advertisement), the photographs and al- 
bums nevertheless sold slowly. Despite Maude's as- 
surance that "a few of these pictures sent to your 
friends will tell them more of the beauties and re- 
sources of this country than can be written," it was 
not until February 1889 that the last of Watkins' 
albums was finally purchased. 25 

Not surprisingly, perhaps, the most extensive use 
of Watkins' Kern County images was made by the 
Haggin and Tevis land development operations. Be- 
ginning in late 1888, the two promoters started issu- 
ing pamphlets, brochures, and booklets illustrated 
with Watkins' photographs, particularly the scenes 
featuring churches, schools, and improved property. 
The images were proof, as one advertisement ex- 
plained, that Kern County "does not partake of the 
wild and woolly west." 26 

Over the next ten years, the Haggin and Tevis 
operation — now incorporated as the Kern County 
Land Company — reprinted, exhibited, and pub- 
lished hundreds of Watkins' photographs. Some 
were displayed at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1 893 ; 
some were published as engravings in New York and 

San Francisco, often without credit to Watkins. 
Occasionally, the engraving companies took liberties 
with Watkins' images, reversing them and deleting 
or adding people or scenery. One typical spread, 
appearing in the January 1893 issue of the Traveler 
and using five of Watkins' photographs, claimed: 

It is safe to say that no other portion of the Coast outside of 
this otters equal inducements to the home builder. The 
buyer may rest assured that he gets what he buys, and he 
buys from the first hands; he should expect, and will most 
certainly receive (if he deserves it), good, fair treatment 
from the hands of Kern County Land Company. 27 


xrn County Land Company's campaign was 
highly successful. With the aid of special discount 
tickets, settlers packed the excursion trains and 
flocked to the Bakersfield area, where sales represen- 
tatives greeted and escorted them to massive land 
auctions embellished by great, festive barbecues. 

By the turn of the century, much of the Kern 
County land had been sold, and the company began 
shifting its activity from promotion to farming and 
oil producing. As a consequence, Watkins' photo- 
graphs- — which had been an important part of this 
success — were no longer useful to the company. 28 

Consigned to dusty archives at Tejon Ranch, Wat- 
kins' photographs remained virtually untouched for 
the next seventy-five years. When Watkins died in 
Napa State Hospital for the Insane in 1916, he left 
behind no record of his Kern County assignment. 
Most of his negatives, including those from Kern 
County, were destroyed in the San Francisco earth- 
quake and fire. Consequently, historians have over- 
looked his photographic adventures in the southern 
San Joaquin Valley. For many years, the only refer- 
ence to his work for Haggin and Tevis consisted of 
three sentences written in 1918 by Watkins' friend 
and biographer, C.B. Turrill. 29 

(Continued on page 260) 


/ tressed in their best and seemingly paying homage to a shrine oj large peaches, these 
Poso Ranch women and children arranged themselves for Watkins, perhaps while the 

men and older hoys were still in the fields . The youngest child might have beenfeeling 
the effei ts oj Handing in full dress while the sun was still high in the sky. Tenncco 
West, Bakersfield 

By his pose, this is a man of authority; by his 
dress, and his big knife, he is not a rancher or 
landowner. His is the stance of a key overseer — a 
"majordomo, " as they were called then — and he 
probably supervised a large number of men, fre- 
quently joining in the work himself. Tenneco 
West, Bakcrsfield 

Ranching in the southern San Joaquin Valley 
meant putting up alfalfa in such large quantities 
that ordinary methods oj handling would not suf- 
fice. Stacks from too to 300 feet long and 30 feet 
high and wide contained 700 to 800 tons of hay. It 
was stacked using the derrick and fork, a Cali- 
fornia invention powered by horses. Although the 
foreman and his assistant in this photograph at 
Buena Vista Ranch are Caucasians, the majority 
of the workers are Chinese. 
Kern County Museum, Bakersfield 





hi 1871 Alex Godney planted eighty fig trees, three rows deep, on a 

section of San Emigidio Ranch . The trees grew into a dense thicket , and 

their splendid dappled shade became a favorite late afternoon haven. 

Beneath the crop oj black figs, families could read or drowse in hammocks 

or on sofas and at benches until the hot sun wentdown. Tenneco West, Bakersfield 

Never by choice a portrait photographer — although finances required 
sittings in his San Francisco studio — Watkins made some distinctive 
environmental portraits in Kern County. In this deliberate, precisely 
framed scene at the McClung Ranch arbor, Watkins photographed a 
young girl who is probably the superintendent's daughter. She stands 
formally, but still naturally, as if she had just returned from church. 
Kern County Museum, Bakersfield 


3 ; 


; - . > 

, * i JUu 

What the settlers of the 1880s created in the Kem Valley was an oasis. For miles around were vast, bare plains — 
fiat, some set to crops and irrigated, but in many places still overgrown with sage. In their midst, however, was Bakersfield, and 
Watkins documented for disbelievers homes with beautifully arranged grounds , lush lawns, and tall shade trees. Beak Memorial Library, Bakersfield 

r- - - 




Ll m \1 t, % . 

Iii litis rare glimpse of Chinese workers building the American West, Watkins' photograph shows a trusted Chinese 
boiler tender keeping the all-important water pump stoked at the McClung Ranch. Library of Congress 

Because of a labor shortage in the southern San Joaquin Valley in the 1 88os, Chinese workers were employed 

extensively on ranches where they did laundry, cooked, plowed, harvested, and threshed. In this early morning 

photograph , Watkins shows them at the milking stalls o) the Kern Island Dairy. Library of Congress 

Watkins photographed the central barnyard at Poso Ranch, a 20, 540-acre diversified farming operation 

23 miles north o) Bakers field, just after 5 a.m. breakfast. The four-horse teams are ready to pull scrapers on an extension of 

the Calloway Canal. Commanding the foreground are the superintendent and the foreman. Tcnneco West, Bakersfield 

Fire, theft, and the ravages of time destroyed most 
of the original Kern County albums, but a few sur- 
vived. During the 1930s, the Library of Congress 
received 415 of the photographs. Smaller, less com- 
plete collections were also acquired by the Henry E. 
Huntington Library in San Marino, California, and 
by the Kern County Museum and the Beale Memo- 
rial Library in Bakersfield. A few pictures also found 
their way to the California Historical Society in San 
Francisco. 30 

The largest and most complete collection of Wat- 
kins' Kern County work — about 700 images — re- 
mained for almost a century in the possession of Kern 
County Land Company. When Tenneco West, Inc. 
absorbed Kern County Land Company in 1976, it 
recognized the value of Watkins' photographs, pre- 
served them, used them in occasional corporate pub- 
lications, and made them available to carefully- 
screened historians and photographic scholars. This 
essay represents the first systematic survey of these 
pictures. And while a final assessment requires fur- 
ther research and a linking of these photographs to 
Watkins' work in other areas of California and the 
West, at least one important conclusion from the 
Kern County albums is possible: Carleton E. Wat- 
kins was far more productive, versatile, and innova- 
tive, and had a far greater impact on the opening up of 
California than historians have previously known. 32 


1 . This photograph is the last in a sequence of five wheat 
threshing pictures taken on the Greenfields Ranch, a 12,800- 
acre operation eleven miles south of Bakersfield. Beginning 
with a distant view, taken from the top of his traveling 
wagon , Watkins moved progressively closer to the threshing 
crew. In the last three pictures, shot from ground level, he 
focuses only on the machinery and the workers. 

2. The exact number of photographs made by Watkins in Kern 
County is debatable. This figure is based on the advertise- 
ments placed by A .C . Maude in the Kern County Californian 
in October, November, and December 1888. Since Maude 

sold the photographs in his stationery store, his account is 
probably reliable. Other sources simply state that Watkins 
made about 700 pictures. A definitive tabulation is impos- 
sible because none of the various collections of the Kern 
County pictures, including the most complete group at Ten- 
neco West, Bakersfield, contains all Watkins' photographs 
from the southern San Joaquin Valley. 
The only account of Watkins' Kern County photography 
consists of three sentences in OB. Turrill's "An Early 
California Photographer: C.E. Watkins." News Notes of Cali- 
fornia Libraries, 13:1 (January, 1918), p. 34. The special Wat- 
kins issue of California History (Fall 1978) notes only that 
Watkins worked in Kern County c. 1890 for the Kern 
County Land Company. Peter Palmquist's reassessment of 
Watkins, "What Price Success? The Life and Photography of 
Carleton E. Watkins," American West, July-August 1980, pp. 
14-15, 66-67, does not mention the Kern County assign- 

Watkins first photographed in Kern County during Febru- 
ary or March 1880, when he traveled south over the newly 
completed Southern Pacific railroad line to Los Angeles and 
Yuma, Arizona. On assignment for Collis P. Huntington, 
Watkins compiled a visual inventory of various sights along 
the route. Since 117 miles of the line, including the most 
prominent engineering accomplishment — the "Tehachapi 
loop," where the rails doubled back on themselves, allowing 
an engine pulling a long line of cars to pass over its caboose as 
it emerged from a tunnel 27 feet directly below — lay in Kern 
County, Watkins devoted considerable attention to the area. 
Using his mammoth plate and stereo cameras, he made 
views of the rail line as it snaked its way through the moun- 
tains southeast of Bakersfield. He also recorded desert scenes 
along the railroad in the Mojave Desert of southern Kern 
County. These views are in the Henry E. Huntington Li- 
brary, San Marino, and the California State Library, Sac- 
ramento. For information on Watkins' ties with Haggin, see 
interview with Peter Palmquist, April 24, 1981, and inter- 
view with Richard Margantini, Tenneco West, Bakersfield, 
February 29, 1981, in author's possession. Watkins' photog- 
raphy in Kern County during 1880 can be found in Charles 
Lux vs. James B. Haggin, Supreme Court of the State of 
California, District Court Records, Vol. 2, Case Numbers 
8587 and 8577 (1888), pp. 577-587, California State Archives, 
Sacramento. The volume contains a long and hostile cross- 
examination of Watkins that sheds light on his loyalty to 
Haggin. The subsequent history of the 1881 mammoth plates 
is shadowy, and it appears that the originals have been lost. 
Haggin could have hired a local photographer tor the Bak- 
ersfield promotion, for by this time there were several por- 
trait galleries in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Particularly 
outstanding was C. A. Nelson, whose studio opposite the 


While no known photographs show Watkins on the Kern 

County expedition of 1888, in this serene view his familiar 

traveling wagon reflects in the still waters oj the Pioneer 

Canal just north of Bakersfield. Library of Congress 

Kern Valley Bank in Bakersfield advertised cabinet-size pho- 
tographs .it S3 per dozen, plus "instantaneous" photographs 
even on cloudy days as well as baby pictures. Although 
Nelson also did landscape work for the valley farmers, pro- 
ducing views comparable to those of Watkins, Haggin chose 
Watkins because Watkins was already familiar with the area. 
See Kem County Califomian, February 9, 1889. 

6. For a description ot Watkins' traveling habits, equipment, 
and companions, see the extensive correspondence between 
Watkins and his fiancee/wife beginning in March 1880 and 
continuing for several years thereatter. This material is in the 
Yosemite Valley Research Library, Yosemite Valley, Cali- 
fornia. Copies are also in the Bancroft Library, University ot 
California, Berkeley. 

7. Kern County Califomian, July 7, 1888. The newspaper did not 
report Watkins' visit during the fall of 1887, an omission of 
some curiosity. 

8. Ibid. July 21, 1888. 

9. Watkins probably converted from the wet-plate collodian 
process to dry plates in the mid- 1 880s. Well informed of new 
photographic technologies, Watkins, for both competitive 
and artistic reasons, would not have ignored such a break- 
through as the dry plate. 

10. Watkins probably toured with the same engineers and ranch 
managers who escorted him on his 1 88 1 photographic recon- 
naissance of Haggin's irrigation works. 

1 1 . Weather information is from the Kern County Califomian, 
July, August and September 1888. For Watkins' physical 
condition, see his correspondence with his wife, Yosemite 
Research Library. 

12. Ralph Anderson, "Carleton E. Watkins, Pioneer Photog- 
rapher of the Pacific Coast," Yosemite Nature Notes, Vol. 32, 
No. 2 (1953), p. 36. Although Anderson observes that the 
Kern County assignment was probably Watkins' last big 
commission, Watkins continued to photograph in 1890 and 
1 891, one of his last assignments consisting of 30 photo- 
graphs made at the Golden Gate Mining claim near Oroville 
in Butte County, California. A description of the Golden 
Gate Mining Claim photography is found in Clarence F. 
Mcintosh, "Carleton Watkins and the Golden Gate Mining 
Claims," Butte County Historical Society Diggins, Vol. 8, No. 1 
(1964), passim. 

1 3 . Some of these views appear only in one or two of the surviv- 
ing albums of Bakersfield photographs: a few are mounted, 
single photographs with Watkins' embossed logo in the 
lower right corner. No two albums contain the same se- 
quence of pictures — some emphasize farming; some empha- 
size Bakersfield; some contain no railroad views; some stress 
individual ranches. Watkins probably assembled each album 
for a different client, culling the images from his large port- 
folio. Of these pictures, the group portraits of ranchers and 

their families, including their Chinese cooks and hired hands, 
are the most surprising, for Watkins is not associated with 
portraiture. Reminiscent of the portraits made by frontier 
photographers, they capture the determination and family 
unity which sustained the early settlers of the southern San 
Joaquin Valley. 

14. A photograph of irrigated alfalfa fields demonstrates Wat- 
kins' originality especially well. The eye moves between 
three reference points, traveling from the heads of the horses 
pulling his traveling wagon in the lower left corner, to the 
house near the horizon, across the flooded fields to a lone 
Chinese irrigator on the right, then back to the bottom of the 
picture. The result is a study in depth, scale, and flatness. 
Because the size of each object is known, the enormous 
expanse of the scene has added impact. 

15. Interview with Peter Palmquist, April 24, 1981, in author's 

16. Watkins always made at least two photographs at any one 
place. Occasionally, at important sites, he executed as many 
as fifteen photographs, for example at the Calloway Canal. 

17. Several of these photographs are distinctive. One shows the 
Great Barnyard at Lakeside Ranch. Capturing the flavor of a 
European peasant village, this early morning photograph, 
taken from the top ot Watkins' wagon, surveys everything 
from ducks to ranch managers and field hands leaving with 
their mowers. Another notable picture of the beginning of 
the work day in the Great Barnyard at Poso ranch is both an 
inventory and a presentation of work relationships. The 
foreman and his assistants and their horses stand in the fore- 
ground, while thirteen workers, each handling a team ot four 
horses, pose in the barnyard behind the foreman. For a third 
photograph, a portrait of a Kern County farm family on the 
porch in their cottage at Poso Ranch, Watkins stretched a 
dark cloth behind the group which provides a simple and 
undistracting background. 

18. Watkins' exposure time can also be deduced from scenes of 
irrigation canals, where water has the soft appearance charac- 
teristic of a long exposure. 

19. Although Watkins had used the elevated perspective since 
the early 1870s, it would not become common among other 
western photographers until the 1890s, when several Los 
Angeles-based photographic studios began employing the 
technique to photograph homes and buildings. 

20. Most landscape photographers, of course, preferred early 
morning and late afternoon light because it produced shad- 
ows. Watkins did not always use this dramatic lighting, 
however, and his field photographs of threshing and ditch 
digging are all taken with the sun overhead and consequently 
with short shadows. 

2 1 . The best evidence of Watkins' presence is a beautiful picture 
of his traveling wagon parked on the bridge spanning Pio- 


neer Canal. Throughout his career, Watkins often recorded 
evidence of his presence — his photographic tent, camera, or 
traveling wagon — as an autobiographic habit and as a way of 
lending scale and depth to his images. 

22. Trimmed in size from 8 X 10 inches to 6% X 8 s /s inches, 
Watkins' prints have a rich, maroon-gold tint. The rag- 
board mounts are manilla colored and of fairly low acid 
content. There is chipping and fraying at the edges, but all 
the prints are securely attached. A few prints are scratched, 
and about one dozen are badly warped. Most boards have 
photographs mounted on both sides. Several dozen photo- 
graphs are mounted on one side of cream-colored boards 
sporting an embossed "Watkins" logo in the lower right 
corner. Most (but not all) have titles, a number, a caption, a 
"Watkins New Series" title, and the address of his San Fran- 
cisco studio. 

23 . A third possibility is that Watkins later copied his mammoth 
plates with his 8 X 10-inch dry-plate camera. This would 
explain why views of the Calloway Canal can be found in 
both mammoth plate and 8 X 10-inch plate size. Sec, for 
example, "The Calloway Canal, Near Headquarters of Poso 
Ranch," which measures 14 X 21 inches in one album at the 
Huntington Library and is reduced to 6 3 A X 8 5 /s inches in all 
other albums. This is true of other pictures as well, such as 
the display of Watkins' pictures on the wall of the Kern 
County Exhibit at the twenty-fourth Annual Mechanics' 
Institute Fair held in San Francisco in 1889. 

24. Kern County Califomian, September 1, 1888, citing the 
Breeder and Sportsman. 

25. Kern County Califomian, October 6, 1888; November 10, 
December 29, 1888; February 9, 1889. 

26. Unidentified clipping, Kern County Clipping Files, Beale 
Memorial Library, Bakersfield, California. See also, Kern 
County Califomian, April 2, 1892, which contains a 32-page 
supplement. Some of these ads were fraudulent, and they did 
not escape the ridicule of A.C. Maude, who exposed an 
8-page spread which Haggin and Tevis ran in the San Luis 
Obispo's San Miguel Messenger on September 24. 1888. Ad- 
vertising land in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties a 
hundred miles to the west of Bakersfield, these ads contained 

several of Watkins' Kern County photographs captioned as 
typical ranching scenes along the California coast. "If the 
people of these two coast counties cannot show enough 
orange trees to look like a grove or grow sufficient alfalfa hay 
to make a respectable looking hay stack," observed Maude, 
"this county can furnish innumerable subjects for fine pic- 
tures, but Kern should have the proper credit." Kern County 
Califomian, September 29, 1888. 

27. The Traveler, January 1893, Clipping File, Beale Memorial 

28. DanaC. Pearson, The Resources of California (no publisher or 
place of publication), Beale Memorial Library, Bakersfield, 
California; Kern County Land Company, The Greatest Ir- 
rigated Farm in the World (San Francisco, 1893); Tenneco West, 
Annual Report for tgy6 (Bakersfield, 1976), p. 20. 

29. Turrill, "Early California Photographer," p. 35. A few 
scholars and genealogists have used some of Watkins' photo- 
graphs from the Tejon Ranch archives, though without Wat- 
kins' by-line. None of these researchers understood who 
Watkins was, nor did they suspect that his work was valuable 
as art and history. Consequently, word of the images never 
reached the photographic community, where research and 
writing about Watkins, long impeded by the destruction of 
his studio, negatives and business records 111 the 1906 San 
Francisco earthquake and fire, focused almost exclusively on 
his well-known early views of Yosemite, Northern Califor- 
nia, and Oregon. 

30. Prints and Photographs Division. Library of Congress. 
Washington, D.C., Lot 3379, holds 415 photographs, plus 
six maps; the Henry Huntington Library, San Marino, has }Q 
mammoth views; Beale Memorial Library, Bakersfield. has 
two albums and various unbound mounted photographs for 
a total of about 200 pictures; Pioneer Village/Kern County 
Museum, Bakersfield. also has one album, plus assorted 
unbound, mounted photographs totaling 1 so images. The 
California Historical Society Library, San Francisco, has one 
album entitled Pacific Coast I Hews, which contains about a 
dozen Kern County images. 

3 I. Photographic I lews of Kern County California, J volumes 
(about 700 images), Tenneco West. Bakersfield. California 


Dathi B. Young 

The Voyage of the Kanrin 

On March 17, i860, the traditional St. Patrick's Day 
parade was already under way in San Francisco when 
a small sailing ship passed through the Golden Gate 
and made its way skillfully to the Vallcjo Street 
wharf. It bore at its mainmast a flag of a sort no one in 
the city had ever seen before: a single bright red disc 
upon a pure white ground. Some of the men who ran 
to the wharf to see this strange sight at first may have 
guessed that the ship was bearing the embassy from 
Japan which was expected to touch at San Francisco 
on its way to Washington, D.C. But that embassy 
was supposed to arrive on board the U.S. Navy's 
powerful steam frigate, the Powhatan, a modern war- 
ship with heavy guns. This little craft — a bark- 
rigged corvette, carrying only a few small guns, and a 
little 100-horsepower steam-driven propeller for 
maneuvering in port — bore no resemblance to the 
giant American steamer. 

Soon the local reporters who clambered aboard the 
little ship spotted a group of Americans among the 
large crew of Japanese. 1 Their leader was a young 
naval lieutenant from Virginia, John Mercer Brooke. 
He had been in command of a surveying expedition 
that had been shipwrecked off Yokohama late in 1859 
just at the time the Japanese government had been 
looking for an experienced pilot who could assist the 
Japanese crew to sail to California. Brooke had read- 
ily assented to thejapanese government's request that 
he accompany the ship, and he had chosen nine crew- 
men from his own wrecked expedition, plus a civil- 
ian draftsman, E.M. Kern (for whom Kern County 
and the Kern River in California were named), to 
return with him. 

Now in San Francisco, Lieutenant Brooke and the 
other Americans explained the unheralded presence 

A Texan by birth and a graduate of Yale, the author spent two 
years in Japan as a student. He has taught Japanese language and 
literature at Cornell and Stanford universities and presently lives 
and works in Austin, Texas. 

of the ship in the bay. According to Brooke, the 
ship's name was Kanrin Mam (he spelled it "Candin- 
marruh"); it had been built by the Dutch and bought 
by thejapanese in 1857. Dispatched as a kind of 
vanguard or escort to the official ambassadorial party 
that would arrive later on board the Powhatan, it had 
made the crossing of the Pacific from Japan to Cali- 
fornia in thirty-seven days non-stop. 

In charge of thejapanese aboard the Kanrin Maru 
was an imposing samurai official, Kimura Yoshitake, 
whom Lieutenant Brooke identified as an "admiral", 
that is, a naval officer of the same rank as Admiral 
Matthew C. Perry who had opened Japan to the West 
in 1854. Kimura's title in Japanese meant "Magistrate 
of Warships", a fair equivalent of "Admiral," but he 
also held a post in thejapanese civil government as 
governor of Settsu. Perhaps because of the difficulty 
of romanizing his lengthy name and titles, he was 
usually referred to as Admiral Kimura in local news- 
paper reports. Had anything prevented the ambas- 
sadors on the Powhatan from traveling to Washing- 
ton, it would have been Kimura's duty to proceed to 
the U.S. capital to complete the diplomatic mission: 
an exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Amity 
and Commerce already signed in Japan in 1858. 

Kimura was not the captain of the Kanrin Maru; 
that post was held by another samurai who later 
became the chief architect of the Imperial Japanese 
Navy, Katsu Rintaro. Katsu, although a man of great 
capacity, had suffered terribly from seasickness dur- 
ing the voyage, and the day-to-day business of run- 
ning the ship had been delegated to the junior officers 
and their American advisers. In fact, except for the 
official interpreter, Nakahama Manjiro, who had 
been educated in Massachusetts through the kindness 
of an American captain and had sailed in American 
whaling vessels, none of thejapanese crew had ever 
been on a sea-going voyage. 

The ship had almost met a violent end in the fierce 


Maru to San Francisco, 1860 

Built by the Dutch and purchased by the Japanese in 1857, f/ieKanrin Maru nearly sank in a fierce storm off the coast of Japan. Piloted by an American 
shipwrecked in Japan and manned by Japanese sailors, the bark-rigged corvette was the vanguard of the first official party of Japanese to travel to the I 'titled 
States. Painting by crew member Suzufuji Yujiro, reproduced in Tanaka Kazusada, Man'en Gannett Kembei Shisetsu Zuroku fTokyo, 1920) 

California History 

storm that began as soon as it had left port in Yoko- 
hama. The Japanese crewmen were inexperienced in 
navigation, and their samurai pride would not let 
them take orders from Manjiro, a fisherman's son. 
Eventually, the tactful Lieutenant Brooke, together 
with Manjiro, managed to teach them common ship- 
board customs and etiquette, so that by the time the 
ship reached San Francisco, Lieutenant Brooke could 
report to his superiors in Washington that "they are 
now competent to manage their vessel." 2 The local 
reporters were impressed by the cleanliness of the 
ship and the neat, even "elegant" dress of the sailors. 3 

Among Kimura's suite of retainers was a well- 
mannered young samurai who was probably unno- 
ticeable among the other sword-bearing Japanese 
officers. Yet this young man (he was only 25 years 
old), whose name was Fukuzawa Yukichi, was 
destined to become known throughout the world as 
the foremost intellectual of early modern Japan. Al- 
though he knew some Dutch and a few words of 
English, he probably found it difficult to understand 
the rapid speech of the Americans and may have 
preferred to let Manjiro carry on most of the conver- 
sations with the citizens of San Francisco. In later 
years Fukuzawa recalled this visit to the United States 
as one of the most exciting times of his life. The 
impressions of Western science and culture he was 
gathering at this time were to develop into a philoso- 
phy of "enlightenment", a firm conviction thatjapan 
could only become a strong nation by adapting the 
best of its native culture to Western technology. 
Through the school he later founded in Edo (Tokyo) 
which became the modern Keio University and 
through his copious writings about the West and 
Japan's future which were read by countless Japanese, 
he would become without question the single most 
influential member of the Kanrin Mam's crew. 

Meanwhile, the citizens of San Francisco in i860 
were delighted at what they believed to be the pres- 

ence in their city of envoys who had come directly 
from the court of the emperor of Japan. In fact, 
Kimura and the other Japanese would have been con- 
sidered of relatively low rank at home. Furthermore, 
they were not representatives of the emperor in Kyo- 
to, but rather of the shogun, the military dictator, 
whose government was centered in Edo. No one in 
San Francisco, however, understood the complex- 
ities of Japanese politics at this time, and the town 
was eager only to shake hands all around. 

The day after the Kanrin Marus arrival, the presi- 
dent of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 
Henry F. Teschemacher, together with some other 
members of the board, paid a formal call on the 
Japanese admiral in the harbor and invited him on a 
tour of the city. This he was quite willing to do, but 
only if proper attention were paid to his rank: he 
insisted that he would ride to shore only with Tesche- 
macher — whose rank within the city government 
might vaguely be considered equivalent to his own — 
but with no one else. The argument over who was to 
ride with whom went on for half an hour until 
Kimura was persuaded to accept a sort of compro- 
mise by which he rode with the president in one boat 
and each of his officers was paired with one member 
of the board in another. 

Kimura's concern with what the San Francisco Bul- 
letin called "etiquette, which almost stands in the place 
of a State religion with the Japanese," 4 was a source 
of amusement to the Americans, who did not grasp 
the significance of Kimura's reaction. The admiral 
was the first accredited ambassador from Japan ever 
to set foot on American soil; he was aware that he 
must make a good impression upon his hosts, but he 
could not allow his proper dignity as an ambassador 
to be slighted. Indeed, it seems that throughout the 
visit to the San Francisco area, the Japanese were 
striving, sometimes painfully, to discover a method 
of dealing with the Americans who were a com- 


These simple navigational instruments of Dutch 
manufacture enabled the largely inexperienced Japa- 
nese sailors to reach San Francisco harbor in thirty- 
seven days, an event which took the city by surprise. 
Reproduced in Tanaka Kazusada, Man' en Gan- 
nen Kembei Shisetsu Zuroku 

pletely unknown clement to thejapanese. The Amer- 
icans, on the other hand, viewed the visitors with a 
sort of boisterous, though good natured friendliness, 
occasionally with downright condescension, but 
usually without the vicious racial bias that was to 
become common by the early years of the twentieth 
century. 5 

Once on shore in San Francisco thejapanese party 
moved to the International Hotel where a reception 
had been arranged. This may have been the occasion 
of one of Fukuzawa's most fascinating recollections, 
contained in his memoirs dictated some forty years 
after the event. He recalled the surprise he felt on 
discovering that the Americans used horses to draw 
carriages, since at that time in Japan horses were not 
used as draft animals. Even more shocking was the 
strange American habit of walking on carpets with 

All of us wore the usual pair of swords at our sides and the 
hemp sandals. So attired, we were taken to the modern 
hotel. There we noticed, covering the interior, the valu- 
able carpets which in Japan only the more wealthy could 
buy from importers' shops at so much a square inch to 
make purses and tobacco pouches with. Here the carpet 
was laid over an entire room — something quite astound- 
ing — and upon this costly fabric walked our hosts wearing 
the shoes with which they had come in from the streets! 
We followed them in our hemp sandals. 6 

During this same reception, the governor of Cali- 
fornia, John G. Downey, strolled into the Interna- 
tional Hotel, apparently without warning or formal 
announcement. When he was presented to Kimura, 
the admiral at first refused to believe interpreter Man- 
jiro's introduction, and it took the added assurances 

of Lieutenant Brooke to convince him that the unas- 
suming gentleman in street clothes was in fact the 
governor of the state. 

Following the reception, a tour of the rest of the 
city was conducted for thejapanese. They were taken 
up and down Montgomery Street, past all the hotels 
and churches, and eventually to Steamboat Point 
where a large steam-driven passenger ferry, the 
Chrysopolis, was under construction. The details of 
the ship's construction fascinated them . "A few min- 
utes sufficed to express their surprise," reported the 
Bulletin, "and then dividing into companies, they fell 
to sketching her whole frame, drafting the form of 
the timbers, taking measurements of every part, so 
that when they went on board [the Kanrin Maru], 
they had the materials for reconstructing at home her 
counterpart." 7 Had the Americans reflected that 
steamships in the shape of Perry's squadron had 
given thejapanese their first inkling of the power of 
the Western world's weaponry, they might have 
found thejapanese desire to take down the Chrysop- 
olis's measurements somewhat less remarkable. 

After a walk to the top of Rincon Hill, then the 
most fashionable residential section of the city, and 
dinner at the International Hotel, thejapanese were 
escorted back to their ship. As the precursor of the 
requisite city tour for modern Japanese visitors to San 
Francisco, this event has some minor historical im- 
portance. (Much that was commented upon about 
thejapanese tourists of i860 by the press is charac- 
teristic of many of today's tourists from Japan: their 
fondness for travel in groups, their unbounded curi- 
osity, their desire to "take the measurements of every 



Iff ; 33W 

part" — today by means of the camera, not the artist's 
brush — and perhaps also their reluctance to attempt 
extensive communication in English. 8 ) 

In i860 the ladies of San Francisco were anxious to 
meet the visitors who were the talk of the town, but 
Admiral Kimura was adamantly set against allowing 
them onboard the Kanrin Mam. "Our visitors do not 
appreciate the sex," claimed the Bulletin. "They 
could not think of letting a dainty female foot tread 
their deck. This is owing to a misapprehension of the 
social rank of females among us. Lieutenant Brooke 
has, up to this time, failed to convince them that there 
are hooped and bonneted beauties among us who 
stand as high as President Tcschemacher or Governor 
Downey." 9 The "misapprehension" was held on 
both sides, of course. Fukuzawa, who counted 
among his most revolutionary proposals the libera- 
tion of the Japanese woman from traditional servi- 
tude to males, later recalled how difficult it was for 
the Japanese to contain their laughter when they first 
witnessed the American "ladies and gentlemen . . . 
hopping about the room together" at a dance. 10 

Eager that the Japanese have a good first impres- 
sion of the United States, the Board of Supervisors 
decided to hold an official reception for the Japanese 
at the supervisors' expense in their chambers in City 
Hall across from Portsmouth Square. The Japanese 
were given only one day's notice of the event, but the 

During a reception at San Francisco's new and elegant 
International Hotel on Jackson Street between Mont- 
gomery and Kearny, the Japanese visitors marvelled that 
Americans laid valuable carpets over the floors of entire 
rooms — and then walked on them with shoes worn on 
the muddy streets outside. 1856 lithograph by B.F. 
Butler, 17 X 18", CHS Fine Arts Collection 

(Facing page) Representing the Shogun or military dic- 
tator of Edo (modern Tokyo), not the Emperor in 
Kyoto, many of the official visitors were samurai, who 
posed with their swords for this photograph. Seated at 
right is the youthful Fukuzawa Yukichi, destined to 
become the foremost intellectual of early modern Japan. 
Reproduced in Tanaka Kazusada, Man' en Gannen 
Kembei Shisetsu Zuroku 

admiral, somewhat reluctantly, accepted, and the re- 
ception was held on Tuesday, March 22, in the midst 
of a cold, pouring rain. "The weather is not to-day a 
thing to boast about," editorialized the Bulletin that 
day. "We hope our Japanese guests will not imagine 
it to be a part of their reception, or go home reporting 
that we are a very windy people." 11 

Once inside the chambers, the Japanese were 
seated awkwardly on chairs and welcomed in a short 
address by President Teschemacher, with Manjiro 
interpreting. The Americans were much impressed 
by the lack of "glitter" in the clothes the Japanese 
wore, for although Kimura and his staff were in the 
equivalent of full dress uniform, they looked plain to 
American eyes. Everyone who had managed to 
squeeze into the densely packed room then came up 
to be introduced: army officers, city officials, rep- 
resentatives of the press, and others including the 
"Secretary of the Pacific Railroad Association." 
Manjiro stood next to the admiral, doing his best to 
keep up with the bewildering array of introductions. 

How Manjiro managed to convey the sense of 
"Pacific Railroad Association" can only be speculated 
upon. The closest thing to a railroad yet seen by the 
Japanese had been a small scale-model engine and cars 
set up by the members of Perry's expedition on the 
beach near Yokohama in 1854 as a gift for the 
emperor, and it is hard to believe that the Japanese, 


who had been in San Francisco for barely five days, 
could have had any appreciation of railroads or what 
they were supposed to do for California's economy. 
Nevertheless, however Manjiro explained it, the 
admiral appeared satisfied; "They all looked intelli- 
gent, curious and gratified," commented the Bulletin. 

After the introductions, Teschemacher slowly 
read out the text of a series of resolutions passed 
earlier by the Board of Supervisors and beautifully 
inscribed on a roll of parchment. The resolutions, full 
of "whereas's" and "be it resolved's," expressed the 
city's appreciation for the visit of admiral Kimura and 
the Kanrin Maru and the general thanks for bringing 
Lieutenant Brooke and his fellow American crew- 
men back to their homeland. "Although the stran- 
gers did not understand all that was said to them," 
observed the Bulletin, "they were very polite, and 
seemed to." 

The Americans of course had no way of knowing 
how much was really understood. As a matter of fact, 
it is most unlikely that even Manjiro could have 
managed the difficult feat of translating at sight a text 
of such surpassing pomposity. Yet the American 
hosts seemed to believe that the Japanese understood 

almost everything, and in this they were as much 
deceived by their own wishful thinking as by the 
aplomb of their guests. The reporter for the San 
Francisco Daily Alta California waxed exceedingly en- 
thusiastic about this reception and wrote: 
The reception of these men from another quarter of the 
globe, the bearers of good-will, friendship, and the pio- 
neers of the long coveted intercourse with that mysterious 
Japan, of which all have read, but about which we know so 
little as yet — their reception, we say, was not of course on 
the scale of magnificence with which our own Embassy 
[i.e., Perry's expedition] was met in the Japanese Empire; 
but, nevertheless, the fraternal feelings, and the expres- 
sions of respect and kindness were equally cordial and 
understood. Though thejapanese have for ages, in their 
Oriental exclusiveness, associated gorgeous display and 
splendor with occasions of importance, these visitors be- 
ing educated men, have the intelligence to understand the 
nature of our democratic institutions, and fully appreci- 
ated this cordial though unostentatious occasion. I2 

Why else would thejapanese ambassadors come to 
the United States, this reporter went on, if it were not 
"to convey more real knowledge of our country to 
thejapanese Emperor and authorities than years of 
writing or visiting of our citizens to their shores'" It 
never occurred to anyone in San Francisco, or else- 


California History 

where in America at the time, that Japan might be a 
competitive threat to the United States' interests, 
commercial or military. Besides, so the reasoning 
appears to have gone, since thejapanese were so 
interested in learning from American models of mili- 
tary hardware and mechanical marvels, it seemed 
natural that they should want to know about politi- 
cal models as well. 

When the reception in City Hall ended, thejapa- 
nese were taken to a dinner at Job's restaurant and ice 
cream saloon on Washington Street across from 
Portsmouth Square. "Cold turkey, cold game, sal- 
ads, ice creams, Charlotte Russe, all manner of dainty 
confectionary, and champagne loaded the table," ac- 
cording to the newspapers. Thejapanese probably 
found all of this most unpalatable, but they did their 
best to make their hosts think they liked it. 

Toasts were proposed and drunk in the accepted 
fashion of the day — standing and with three cheers 
after each toast. When Teschemacher proposed the 
health of the emperor of Japan and the president of 
the United States, in that order, Kimura, always a 
stickler for matters of politeness and precedence, re- 
plied that it was unthinkable the emperor's name 
should precede that of the president. So Kimura then 
proposed "the health of the President of the United 
States and the Emperor ofjapan — the President's 
name first. . . . Loud cheers followed this significant 
sentiment." More toasts were drunk to progress, 
friendship between the nations, the Pacific Railroad, 
the press, and the healths of practically everyone in 
the room. Thejapanese, who must have been be- 
wildered by this strange ceremony, politely an- 
nounced at 4:30 pm that they would return to the 
Kanrin Mam, which was scheduled to go to the Naval 
Yard at Mare Island the next day for drydocking and 
repairs. As thejapanese departed, their hosts insisted 
they carry with them little paper bags filled with 
candy from Job's. 

The Kanrin Mam, however, was not transferred to 
Mare Island until the second day after the reception at 
City Hall. The delay may have been occasioned by 
the death of Gennosuke, one of the Kanrin Marus 
sailors, on the day of the reception. (His grave, to- 
gether with those of two other members of the ship's 
crew, is now located in Colma.) 

When thejapanese finally arrived at the Mare 
Island Navy Yard, they were pleasantly surprised to 
learn that they would not be expected to pay for any 
repairs to their ship. The American officer in com- 
mand at Mare Island, Commodore Robert B. Cun- 
ningham, told Admiral Kimura that the country was 
too large and communications too slow for him to 
receive orders from Washington on how to handle 
the matter. Accordingly, he took it upon himself to 
offer thejapanese every possible service, free of 
charge, since he knew "our government and people 
desired to cultivate the most friendly relations with 
Japan." 13 The Kanrin Mam was then taken up out of 
the water — thejapanese, who had no drydocking 
facilities at home, marveled at how easily it could be 
done — and it was soon discovered that extensive 
repairs would be necessary. 

At Mare Island Naval Yard, thejapanese were 
housed in two of the brick buildings: one, sur- 
rounded by a garden, was for the admiral and his 
staff, and the other was for the sailors. For the greater 
part of two months thejapanese had been crowded 
together on board their small ship, and this oppor- 
tunity to get out of their narrow quarters and live on 
land was enthusiastically welcomed. 

Numerous references in local papers during the 
Kanrin Marus stay at Mare Island make it evident that 
many of thejapanese frequently visited San Francisco 
aboard one of the several steam cutters then plying 
the stretch of bay between Benicia, Vallejo and San 
Francisco. Fukuzawa's memoirs indicate that he 
must have walked the streets of San Francisco, seeing 


Fukuzawa visited the Haguerrian gallery of 

William Shew where the photographer 's daughter 

Theodora "boldly" agreed to stand next to the 

Japanese visitor. Fukuzawa Yukichi, The 

Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa rev. 

translation Eiichi Kiyooka 

(New York, 1966) 

the sights of the strange foreign city and probably 
attracting stares and curious comments from all 

On one such trip to the city, a party of "officers" 
from the Kanrin Mam went to Maguire's Opera 
House on Washington Street above Montgomery 
where they witnessed a production of Shakespeare's 
Richard III, with Mr. J. B. Howe playing the title role. 
The reviewer for the Bulletin happened to be in the 
house that evening and observed that the Japanese 
"seemed to regard with interest the progress of the 
play." 14 This may be the first recorded instance of a 
performance of a play by Shakespeare witnessed by a 
Japanese audience. We do not know if Fukuzawa was 
among the Japanese in the audience; at any rate, it is 
certain that the Japanese would have understood al- 
most nothing of the language. 

Joshua Norton, the "Emperor Norton I," San 
Francisco's most famous and amiable eccentric, was 
also in the house that evening . What the Japanese may 
have thought of this strange personage in full naval 
uniform was unfortunately not recorded. 

On March 29, the morning after this performance, 
the Powhatan, bearing the official Japanese ambassa- 
dors from the Shogun, steamed into San Francisco 
Bay. It paused at San Francisco only long enough for 
a deputation from the city government to go on 
board and offer a welcome to California. Then it 
went up to Mare Island, where it was greeted by 
Admiral Kimura and the American naval officials 
who had been notified in advance of its arrival by 
telegraph — another marvel to the Japanese. 

The presence of this second group of ambassadors 
from Japan in San Francisco was again a source of 
much excitement, and the San Francisco city govern- 
ment sponsored another more elaborate reception for 
these latest arrivals. Katsu Rintaro is the only mem- 
ber of the Kanrin Marus crew mentioned by the press 
as attending this reception, and Fukuzawa's autobi- 

* *■ * • •> 
4 c # ^ ♦• 

ography gives no hint as to his own presence or 
absence. Yet it is probably to this time, or there- 
abouts, that we may date the most interesting docu- 
ment to have been produced by thejapanese presence 
in San Francisco that year. This is a photograph of 
Fukuzawa Yukichi and a young American girl, taken 
on a rainy day probably not long before or after the 
reception for the ambassadors. Fukuzawa's own ac- 
count of his sitting for this photograph reads: 

The girl was really the daughter of the photographer; she 
was fifteen, as I remember hearing. On the day I went to 
the photographer's, where on a previous day we had been 
for some pictures, it was raining, and I went all alone. As I 
w is going to sit, I saw the girl in the studio. I said sud- 
denly, "Let us have our picture taken together." She im- 
mediately said, "All right," being an American girl and 
thinking nothing of it . So she came and stood by me. ,s 

Since Fukuzawa apparently did not remember the 
girl's name nor that of the photographer, she has 
remained anonymous — until recently. However, an 


California History 

article published in the Spring 1977 issue o{ California 
History supplies information which makes a positive 
identification possible. 16 Her name was Theodora 
Alice Shew, and she was the only child of William 
Shew, one of the pioneers of the daguerreotype in 
America. William Shew had come to San Francisco in 
1 85 1 where he remained until his death in 1903 . In 
i860 his "dagucrrian gallery" was located at 113 
Montgomery Street, only a block away from the 
location of the grand reception for the Japanese am- 
bassadors. His daughter, known affectionately as 
"Dora," was born in 1849 and would therefore have 
been in her eleventh or twelfth year at the time of 
Fukuzawa's visit. (His belief that she was "fifteen" 
can probably be attributed to a lapse of memory.) 
Fukuzawa preserved the daguerreotype as one of his 
most prized possessions from the United States. 
After his death it passed to his heirs and was even- 
tually presented to the Library of Keio University 
in Tokyo where it remains to this day, contained in 
its original casing. On this frame are the words: 

The only other souvenir that Fukuzawa records 
having brought home from San Francisco was a copy 
of Webster's Dictionary: 

Before we sailed, the interpreter, Nakahama, and I each 
bought a copy of Webster's dictionary. This, I know, was 
the first importation of Webster's into Japan. Once I had 
secured this valuable work, I felt no disappointment on 
leaving the new world and returning home again. 18 

On April 7, the Powhatan departed San Francisco 
bearing the Japanese ambassadors on the next stage of 
their journey via the Isthmus of Panama to Washing- 
ton. After meeting President James Buchanan in 
Washington and completing the exchange of ratifica- 
tions of the Treaty of 1858, the Japanese returned to 
their homeland via the Cape of Good Hope, arriving 
on November 9, i860. 

Meanwhile, the crew of the Kanrin Maru remained 
on Mare Island with its ship and continued to visit 
San Francisco from time to time. Although there 
were a few instances of misunderstanding between 
the Japanese and some American shopkeepers — on 
at least two occasions Americans claimed they had 
been cheated by Japanese trying to pass gold-plated 
silver coins as solid gold — most San Franciscans 
maintained a friendly attitude toward the Japanese. 

By all accounts the most uproarious result of the 
visit of the Japanese to San Francisco must have been 
the theatrical extravaganza called The Japanese Em- 
bassy, billed as a "grand operatic Ethiopian spectacle" 
and first performed on the evening of April 27 at 
Minstrel Hall on Montgomery near Washington 
Street. The Aha California carried a review of the first 

The Japanese Embassy — This new musical extravaganza 
was produced last night at Minstrel Hall, before a large and 
fashionable audience. The piece abounds in wit, humor, 
and good music, and has been gotten up in a style that 
would do credit to [a] much larger establishment. The last 
scene is a perfect gem, representing the harbor ofjeddo 
and the American fleet, under Commodore Perry, enter- 
ing the port, the vesels are all full rigged, and are working 
models. . . . 19 

It would appear from this description that The 
Japanese Embassy was a hodgepodge of song and 
dance routines, combined with broad jokes — some, 
no doubt, at the expense of thejapanese — and elabo- 
rate sets in which the U.S. Navy under Commodore 
Perry entered the Bay of Edo in the final scene and 
opened up isolationist Japan to the world. At any 
rate, Thejapanese Embassy was a depiction of the 
American expedition to Japan in 1853-54, not the 
1 860 Japanese embassy to the United States, and it 
was the Americans, not thejapanese, who were por- 
trayed in a favorable light. The theatrical value of the 
piece was probably very slight by modern standards, 


Americans believed the Japanese visit represented the 

isolationist country's new interest in learning about 

"civilization" as well as mechanical inventions. 

That japan would eventually become a competitor 

was inconceivable. Harper's Weekly, June 2, i860 

and despite the rave notices published in the papers, 
there is no record of a performance after May 7, the 
day before the Kanrin Maru set out on its return to 

The Kanrin Maru returned to Clarke's Point in San 
Francisco on May 1 with a new set of sails, two new 
masts, and a new coat of paint inside and out. Six 
days later, just before the ship was to sail, Katsu 
Rintaro and two other Japanese were escorted to a 
meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 
no doubt a somewhat baffling experience for the 
Japanese. The Aha California's reporter thought that 
many of the Japanese could now "maintain a little 
conversation in English, though somewhat bro- 
ken." 20 It is not likely, however, that the three who 
attended the supervisors' meeting could have had 
much notion of the sort of problems under considera- 
tion that evening or, indeed, of the political philoso- 
phy that underlay this democratic institution. The 
Herald reported that since they understood little or 
nothing despite some attempts to interpret what was 
going on, they must have been "amused at the ear- 
nest oratorical efforts of several members. With the 
greatest good breeding they managed to restrain their 
mirth and took the entertainment in good part." 21 

Kimura's original intention was that the Kanrin 
Maru would carry back to Japan the news of the 
ambassadors' safe arrival in Washington, but the ad- 

miral had learned that the difficulties in communica- 
tions and the vast distances such information would 
have to travel were too great to delay his departure 
any longer. The Americans took his insistence on a 
departure before anyone in San Francisco could have 
known of the mission's arrival in Washington as a 
high compliment to themselves, since it "removed 
the only means they possessed of communication to 
the Japanese Government the safety of their high 
dignitaries and countrymen in the United States, and 
the result of the Embassy." 22 

On the morning of May 8, the Kanrin Maru 
steamed out of San Francisco Bay, saluting the presi- 
dent of the United States through his symbolic pres- 
ence at the Presidio with twenty-one guns and receiv- 
ing a like salute in reply. Ten of the Kanrin Maru's 
crew remained sick in one of the city's hospitals. 
(They were returned to Japan in August after they 
had recovered.) Perhaps partly to replace these men, 
the Japanese took along five Americans, all former 
members of Lieutenant Brooke's surveying crew. 
This time, however, the actual navigation and en- 
gineering of the ship were entirely in the hands of the 
Japanese. Furthermore, the Japanese decided that the 
return voyage would be made via Hawaii, a different 
route from the one used by Lieutenant Brooke. Ob- 
viously the Japanese were confident this time that 
they could go it alone. 


' 36% 

The ship reached Honolulu on May 23 , fifteen days 
from San Francisco. Leaving the islands on May 26, it 
had returned to Kanagawa, where the long voyage 
had begun tour months earlier, by June 24. 

Viewed with the perspective of more than 120 
years, the voyage of the Kanrin Mam may seem to be 
little more than a curious episode in the history of the 
early diplomatic contacts between Japan and the 
United States. The Japanese mission of i860 was 
understandably forgotten in the Civil War years 
which followed, and most Americans today know 
nothing of the event. The average modern Japanese is 
likely to recognize the name "Kanrin Mam" (it has a 
romantic aura, thanks to dramatizations on televi- 
sion) and to know something of Katsu Rintaro (bet- 
ter known to his countrymen as Katsu Kaishu) and 
Fukuzawa Yukichi, the only members of the Kanrin 
Marus crew who distinguished themselves after the 
ship's return to Japan. Admiral Kimura spent the 
remainder of his life out of the public eye, while in 
America, Lieutenant Brooke may be remembered 
because of his active influence upon Confederate 
naval strategy during the War Between the States, 
not for his part in the Kanrin Marus voyage. 

Despite the lack of any lasting political repercus- 
sions of the Kanrin Mam's visit to California — it was, 
after all, meant primarily as a symbolic gesture — the 
incident has more than mere passing interest. Fuku- 

zawa's memories of the journey were very vivid; he 
never forgot the warmth of the reception he received 
in San Francisco and never doubted his belief that 
Japan had much to learn from the West. The modern 
Japanese visitor to San Francisco, whether he is aware 
of it or not, is treading in the footsteps of great and 
famous men. There were later, and larger, embassies 
to the United States that passed through San Fran- 
cisco, and Fukuzawa himself returned on one of them 
in 1867. All had their beginning in the visit of the 
Kanrin Mam. 

Even in i860, some Americans recognized that the 
presence of thejapanese offered the promise of future 

No man can form too exalted an estimation of the magni- 
tude of the results that are to grow out of this intercourse. 
Most especially are these results to be of a magnificent 
character for California, for it is a prophecy that many of 
those now among us will live to see tulhlled — when we 
say that the day will come when the iron horse, lashed to 
the long train of railway carriages, shall take up the prod- 
ucts and manufactures ofjapan from our docks and ware- 
houses, and set forth with the rich freight to the borders of 
the other great ocean. 23 

Although the heady evangelistic rhetoric should not 
lead to a dismissal of the suffering and injustice that 
the next century was to bring toJapanese-Americans, 
the truth is that the promised day did come in its 


At Mare Island Navy Yard northeast of San Fran- 
cisco, the Japanese were astonished to learn about 
drydock fatilitiei and the ease with which extensive 
ship repairs could be made. Lithograph c. i860 by 
C. B. Gifford, CHS Fine Arts Collection 

time, though in a fashion undreamed of by anyone in 
i860. The lasting value of the crowded little ship's 
voyage is best revealed in the aura of friendship that 
still speaks through the portrait of Dora Shew and 
Fukuzawa Yukichi. 



The sources are not in agreement on the number of Japanese 
on board the Kanrin Maru. The reporter for the San Francisco 
Daily Evening Bulletin counted a total of 88 (March 19, i860). 
Other figures range between 57 and 104 Japanese. 
Lieutenant Brooke to Isaac Toucey, Secretary of the Navy, 
March 20, i860; New York Times, April 17. i860, p. 2. 
San Francisco Daily Bulletin, March 19, i860. 

While this seems to have been the prevailing attitude in San 
Francisco, the Japanese who went on to Washington, D.C., 
were sometimes subjected to worse treatment. 
Fukuzawa Yukichi, The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa, 
rev. trans. Eiichi Kiyooka (New York: Columbia University 
Press, 1966), p. 108. This passage has also been translated in 
Masao Miyoshi, As We Saw Them, The First Japanese Embassy 
to the United States ( i860), (Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1979), p. 33. 
Bulletin, March 19, i860. 

See Miyoshi, As We Saw Them, pp. 183-186, for a discussion 
of modern Japanese tourism and its historical roots. 
Bulletin, March 21, i860, p. 3. 
Bulletin, March 22, i860, p. 3. 

This account of the reception here and in the following 
paragraphs is based on the account in the Bulletin, March 27,, 
i860, p. 3. 

San Francisco Daily Alta California, March 23, i860, p. I. 
Alta California, March 27, i860, p. I. 
Bulletin, March 29, i860, p. 3. 
Fukuzawa, Autobiography , pp. 1 19-120. 

Wendy CunkleCalmenson, " 'Likenesses Taken in the Most 
Approved Style': William Shew, Pioneer Daguerreotypist," 
California History, Spring, 1977, pp. 2-19. 
Nichi-Bei Shukb Tsushb Hyakunen Kinen Gyoji Un'eikai [As- 
sociation For Japan-U.S. Amity and Trade Centennial] ed., 
Man 'en Gannen Kembei Shisetsu Shiryo Shusei [Collected Doc- 
uments of the Japanese Mission to America i860] (Tokyo: 
Kazama Shobo, 1960-1961), 7: 313. The daguerreotype 
measures 8.8 cm. X 6.4 cm., and the frame is 1 1 .8 cm. X 9.3 

18. Fukuzawa, Autobiography, p. 117. 

19. Alta California, April 28, i860, p. 2. 

20. Alta California, May 6, i860, p. 1. 

21. Quoted in Man 'en Gannen . . . ,6:78. 

22. Herald, May 9, i860, quoted in Man' en Gannen . . . ,6:79. 

23. Alta California, March 30, i860, p. 2. 

Suggestions for Further Reading 

No study of the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the United 
States can begin without Masao Miyoshi's As We Saiv Them 
(Berkeley, 1979). This is by far the most satisfying and best 
treatise on the topic yet published. Professor Miyoshi's work 
combines historical scholarship of the highest order with fasci- 
nating insights on the social, psychological, and philosophical 
background of both the Japanese and the Western participants. 

The best short factual account of the entire mission, including 
the role of the Kanrin Mant, is found in Allan B. Cole, "Japan's 
First Embassy to the United States, i860," Pacific Northwest 
Quarterly, Vol. xxxii, No. 2 (April, 1941), pp. 131-166. George 
Hinkle, "Samurai in San Francisco, the Japanese Embassy of 
i860," California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 4 (De- 
cember, 1944), pp. 335-347, contains several errors of fact and 
mistaken romanization ofjapanese names, although it quotes 
from an otherwise unpublished contemporary American diary. 
Nakahama Manjiro's role in the voyage from Japan to California 
aboard the Kanrin Maru is the subject of Emily V . Warnner, "The 
Ordeal of the Kanrin Maru," American Heritage, Vol. XIV, No. 5 
(August, 1963), pp. 95-97. Manjiro has two biographies in Eng- 
lish: Emily V. Warriner, Voyager to Destiny (New York: Bobbs- 
Mernll, 1956), and Kaneko Hisakazu, Manjiro, The Man Who 
Discovered America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1956). Lieutenant 
(ohn M. Brooke's complete journal of the voyage from Japan 
(some parts of which are quoted in extenso in Warriner's short 
article in American Heritage) is found in Vol. 5 of the Japanese 
publication of collected documents pertaining to the mission of 
i860, cited in note 17. 

There is much information on the U.S. Navy's presence in the 
Pacific in the mid-nineteenth century in Allan B. Cole, Yankee 
Surveyors in the Shogun 's Seas: Records of the i 'nited States Surveying 
Expedition to the North Pacific Ocean, 185}- 56 (Princeton: Prince- 
ton University Press, 1947). Robert V. Hine, Edward Kern and 
American Expansion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1962) 
details the little-known presence of E.M. Kern aboard the Kanrin 

Carmen Blacker, The Japanese Enlightenment (London: Cam- 
bridge University Press, 1964) is a study of Fukuzawa Yukichi's 
thought and its debt to Western culture. 

Lastly, the best general treatment of Japan's emergence into the 
modern world remains George B. Sansom, The Western World 
and japan (New York: Knopf, 1949). 


J.H. Hildebrand 


Isolated through long winter months by the deep snow of the 
Sierra Nevada, Norwegian settlers and miners introduced 
skiing to California's mountain communities in the 1850s. 
Called snoii'shoeing (rather than the Norwegian , "ski- 
ing ' ') , the means of communication soon became a celebrated 
form of diversion in remote Plumas, Sierra, and Alpine 
counties. Money changed hands before and during downhill 
racing events — perhaps the first ski tournaments held in the 
United States — and alchemical formulas Jor "dope, " the 
equivalent of modem ski waxes, were developed in greatest 
secrecy by ardent competitors . 

In 1868, a particularly well-attended contest between 
towns took place at Howland's Flat. The report of the 
events in local papers — and possibly the size of the purse — 
prompted John A . "Snowshoe" Thompson and the Alpine 
County boys to publicly call the young men of Sierra 
County to "take up the gauntlet orjorever hold their 
peace. " In response, Thompson, who was jamed jor carry- 
ing 100-pound sacks oj mail over the Sierra Nevada in the 
dead of winter, was blasted in a letter (first printed in the 
Alpine Chronicle and reprinted in the Sacramento 
Daily Union ) which disdainjully declined his cliallenge. 

The following account of the heated exchange suggests 
that Calijomia's mountain dwellers, who developed ardent 
local loyalties, had ample hours to master the art oj verbal 
putdown. The story oj the dueling skiis appeared in 
J.H. Hildebrand 's "History oj Ski-ing in California," 
printed in the iqjq issue of The British Ski Year 
Book. — Editor 

Ski were first used in California to maintain com- 
munication over the great barrier presented by the 
Sierra Nevada in winter. This range is a huge block, 
300 miles long and 80 miles wide, tilted up to as much 
as 14,500 feet along its eastern boundary, with main 
passes at 7,000 to 11,000 feet. The Spanish explorers 
well named it the "Snowy Range," for the prevailing 
westerly winds, laden with moisture from the Pacific 
Ocean, deposit huge masses of snow in winter. The 
mean depth on Donner Pass, the most travelled 
route, is 10 feet in February, with 27 feet on record. 
Three feet of snow frequently falls in twenty-four 
hours, and the average seasonal snowfall is 408 
inches. Roads, unless artificially cleared, are usually 
impassable for six months. During the years of the 
Gold Rush, Central California was without land 
communication to the east all the winter, and many 
mining settlements were isolated for months. A way 
to overcome this vast snow barrier was shown by 
John A. Thompson in 1856. This son of Vikings was 
born in Norway at Upper Tins, Prestijeld, April 30, 
1 827. He came to America with his parents at the age 
often. The gold fever brought him to California in 
1851 , but he soon gave up mining and became a 
rancher in the Sacramento Valley. 

Having learned of the difficulties in the way of 
delivering mail during the winter, he bethought him 
of the ski he had seen while a youngster in Norway 
and fashioned himself a pair out of oak. His recollec- 
tions of design were in the main correct, but his ski 
were 10 feet long, 4V2 inches wide in front, 4 inches in 
the rear, and weighed 25 lb. Their weight did not 
deter him, however, as he was a man of powerful 
physique, 6 feet tall and weighing 180 lb. His ski were 
held in place by broad leather toe straps nailed to the 
ski and a wooden piece under the instep. A single 
long pole, some 6 feet long, was used for propelling 
and steering. It was held horizontally in both hands 
during straight descent. 


California's earliest "snowshoes" 

were as long as ten to fifteen feet and 
weighed as much as twenty-Jive 
pounds. In this early Sierra view 
published by Lawrence & House- 
worth of San Francisco, two men 
demonstrate different positions for 
Nordic or cross-country traveling. 
CHS, San Francisco 

He quickly developed skill in the mastery of these 
ski and engaged himself to carry mail over the Sierra 
from Murphy's, near the Calaveras Grove, to Carson 
Valley in Nevada, 90 miles distant. Carrying loads of 
from 60 to 100 lb. , he usually made the trip eastbound 
in three days; westbound, on account of long down 
grades, in two. He at once became a necessity and 
continued this service for twenty winters. He carried 
no blankets, but slept in a cave or an abandoned 
cabin, or simply on a bed of boughs before a fire. 
When a blizzard overtook him with no shelter and no 
possibility of building a fire, he would dance all night 
upon a rock to avoid freezing. He was frequently held 
up by sticky snow, as he knew nothing of "dope." 

He became famous far and wide for his exploits, 
which earned him the name of "Snowshoe Thomp- 
son." He ran 1,600 feet in 21 seconds, or at the rate of 
52 miles per hour, and often made jumps of over 50 
feet. One reliable witness reported his having jumped 
180 feet. He died after a brief illness in 1876 and was 
buried in Genoa. His gravestone is ornamented with 
a pair of crossed ski. 

Although Snowshoe Thompson is the outstanding 
figure in California's ski-ing history, it appears that 
other Norwegians introduced ski into Plumas Coun- 
ty, farther north, at an even earlier date. The Plumas 
Argus, of Quincy, in March, 1857, carried an item 
from Poorman's Creek near La Porte which de- 
scribed "Norwegian snowshoes, 9 feet long and 4V2 
inches wide" as in common use. The depth of snow 
was given as from 25 to 30 feet. A "Snowshoe Club" 

was organised at La Porte in January 1867. Races 
were held for purses ranging up to $75. Frank Stew- 
art, a carpenter and ski-maker, invented a "dope" 
which was doubtless largely responsible for his win- 
ning $500 in gold dust by beating the great Snowshoe 
Thompson. His ski were much lighter than Thomp- 

Ski-racing in Plumas County evidently furnished 
all the excitement that elsewhere has been afforded by 
prize-fighting and horse-racing. Huge sums were 
wagered, teams organised, secret formulas invented 
for "dope." The races were true "flying kilometres," 
usually held on prepared tracks, late in the afternoon 
if necessary for them to be frozen and packed. A 
record was set in 1873 by Tommy Todd, who trav- 
elled a measured 1 ,804 feet in 14 seconds flat (87 miles 
per hour). Frank Woodward ran 1,950 feet in 17 
seconds. The races were mostly straightaway, and 
the "riders" often used very long ski, 10 to 15 feet in 
length; indeed, 25-foot ski were said to have been 
tried. Ski were always known as "snowshoes," the 
Norwegian name having apparently failed to take 
hold. Ski socks for climbing arc mentioned in one 
early source. 

A contemporary description of the sport printed in 
the Sacramento Union, March 28, 1868, is so vivid and 
detailed as to justify reprinting verbatim. 

Howland Flat, March 18, 1868 
Snowshoe Racing at Howland Fi at 
"Our great snowshoe racing tournament, under 


California History 

the direction of the Table Rock Snowshoe Club, just 
completed, has been the all-absorbing event of the 
past two weeks, and as it is of so much local interest I 
deem it may not be uninteresting to many readers of 
the Union who are not privileged with a residence in 
the snowy regions of the Sierras. With the great 
depth of snow that we have in our winters there is but 
little opportunity for sport, but when opportunity 
offers few are liable to the charge of not improving it. 
The just completed races were announced to com- 
mence on the 2nd, but storms intervened and a 
postponement was had from day to day. Notwith- 
standing the unfavorable weather quite a respectable 
number of racers and a large number of spectators 
were in attendance. Most of the towns in Sierra and 
Plumas counties were represented. On days that the 
weather permitted the large number of ladies from 
home and abroad fully attested by their presence that 
they too had a lively interest in the sport. Heretofore 
prizes have been offered for which they contended on 
snowshoes, but the custom seems to be falling into 
disuse, but why, I do not see. If skating is healthy, 
graceful and delightful, snowshoeing is equally so. 
Most of the ladies are quite expert on the shoes, and 
are very competent judges in all matters pertaining to 
the science. 

What's a Snowshoe? Probably many a person has 
asked without deriving the desired information. For 
the enlightenment of such, I will attempt a descrip- 
tion. Snowshoes are made of wood, are about twelve 
feet long, four inches wide and one-and-a-fourth 
inches thick in the center. They are tapered on top 
from near the middle to one-fourth of an inch in 
thickness at the toes, and in like manner to three- 
fourths of an inch at the heels, and nearly flat. The 
toes are turned up like a sleigh-runner. They are of 
the same width from end to end, and a "spring" is 
worked in so that without weight on they rest on the 
heels and points, but when the rider stands on them 

the weight is somewhat evenly distributed. A con- 
cave groove is made in the bottom, beginning near 
the toes and running to the heels, similar to the bot- 
toms of skate-runners. The bottoms are highly pol- 
ished and then tar is burned in and rubbed until a fine 
mahogany-appearing finish is obtained, which hard- 
ens the wood, makes a very smooth surface and 
attracts heat when exposed to the sun, the latter being 
a desirable item in putting on the "dope" on the 
racing ground. The rider stands a little back from the 
center of the shoes, the feet being held by toe-straps 
of strong leather that allow the foot to enter to near 
the ball, but that will not hinder it from slipping 
easily out in case of a fall. They are guided on the 
same principle as skates, but being so long of course 
are not near so easy of control. 

"Dope is the material for lubricating the bottoms 
of the shoes, and is intended to do away with friction 
as nearly as possible. So great has become the science 
in the manufacture of this article that friction is now 
counted nearly nothing. The manufacture of dope 
requires both science and skill. The temperature of 
the snow is as variable as that of the atmosphere, and 
for every temperature of snow a different kind of 
dope is needed. Among the materials entering into 
the composition of dope are: spermacetti, Burgundy 
pitch, Canada pitch, fir balsam, Venice turpentine, 
oil of cedar, tar, pine, hemlock and fir, and glycerine, 
Barbary tallow, camphor and castor oil. 

"Racing Tracks are chosen on steep side hills, and 
are generally about twelve hundred feet long, with an 
angle of depression of from fifteen to twenty-five 
degrees, being always in a direct line and as even as 
possible. The winning poles are set on comparatively 
level ground, in order to give the racers a chance to 
break up after passing through, which is done by 
dragging their poles and bearing heavily on 

"How A Race is Won. When the entries are all 


Often mow-bound tor several months a 
year, communities like Mountain Home in 
Sierra County welcomed the diversion af- 
forded by skiing meets, which included rac- 
ing and jumping. CHS, San Francisco 

made the races are arranged in squads of four, always 
representing different towns. The winners of these 
squads make up other squads in like manner until 
they saw-off to the final squad, the winner of which is 
the winner of the purse. When the race is called the 
first squad takes its place, the riders standing on their 
shoes in line and holding back with their poles. The 
instructions are then given, to wit: 'The first man 
through the winning poles on his shoes, or on one 
shoe, wins. Any one starting before the tap of the 
drum cannot win.' The drum is then tapped out of 
their sight and away they go, poling for dear life, 
until the speed is so great that nothing can be gained. 
Then they squat low on their shoes in order to offer as 
little front as possible to the atmosphere, and, as well, 
to better retain their balance in going over uneven 
places. . . . Great steadiness is required in riding, and 
very perfect control over the shoes, but still, withal, 
the best riders sometimes fall, ploughing the snow 
and bounding in the air at a fearful rate. Seldom any 
serious injury is sustained from falling. The greatest 
danger lies in other riders coming in contact with one 
when falling, when there is great danger. During our 
races no accident happened to in the least mar the 
occasion, and I will venture the assertion that in no 
place but in California could so many men meet, 
contesting for prizes and the reputation of so many 
towns, and part in the utmost friendship. . . ." 

hat they took their sport with all the seriousness 
of modern collegians is attested by the challenge is- 
sued by Thompson and printed in the Sacramento 
Union of March 26th, 1869. Thompson evidently did 
not suffer the pangs of an "inferiority complex." 
Here is the challenge. 

"Thompson Challenges the Sierra Boys. — The 
following challenge is offered on behalf of Snow 

Shoe Thompson and the Alpine boys, to the young 
men of Sierra, who must take up the gauntlet or 
forever hold their peace. Thompson is not scared at 
the 'dope' much, and means business. If the Sierra 
boys like to have a chance at a big high mountain, 
Thompson will accomodate them. We quote from 
the Alpine Chronicle of March 20th: 

'The Downieville Messenger says, I had heard of 
snow shoe races, and to satisfy my curiosity I at- 
tended those at Laporte. 

'I did go to Laporte, expecting to sec some sci- 
entific snow shoe racing, but I was disappointed; it 
was nothing but "dope racing," and is unworthy of 
the name of snow shoeing. It is nothing more than a 
little improvement on coasting down hill on a hand- 
sled. The improvement is, that instead of uprights 
and crossbars from one runner to the other, they 
make their legs and crotch answer this purpose, and 
they have no more control over their shoes than a boy 
has over his sled. They have exhibited some skill in 
making dope, but all they gain in this is that they 
make about the same time on a hill of 15 that a man 
would, without dope, on a hill of 30 . These "dope 
riders" at Laporte are good, clever fellows, but they 
have no more right to call themselves scientific snow 
shoers than a man with steel skates on smooth ice 
who with a spiked pole placed between his legs 
pushed himself straight ahead should be called a sci- 
entific skater. 

'Now, I, on behalf of the Alpine Boys, make these 
propositions to the Plumas and Sierra Boys or "any- 
other man" in the State. Come to Alpine county next 
Winter and run with us. We will run you for $1, 000 a 
side for each one of the following, viz.: 

'First — Against time; you to select your hillside, 
and then we will select ours. 

'Second — Side by side; we to select the hillside. 

'Third — Over a precipice fifteen feet high, with- 


California History 

out the usual poles, the one jumping the furthest, 
without tailing, to take the purse. 

'Fourth — From the top to the bottom of the high- 
est and heaviest-timbered mountain we can find. 

'Fifth and last — to run from the top of Silver 
Mountain peak to the town of Silver Mountain. The 
altitude of the peak is 11,000 feet — 4,000 feet above 
town, and distant four miles. 

'Now, boys of Plumas and Sierra, come over here; 
we will treat you well, and if you win our money you 
are welcome. If you come, be sure and bring that 
Messenger man along with you, and I will bet him 
$100 that if he attempts to follow me on snow-shoes 
for one day he will break his neck before night. 

'For the information of those who have not seen 
my snow-shoes, I will give the dimensions: They are 
9 feet long, turned up in front and flat-bottomed; 4 
inches wide in front; 3V2 inches behind, and 1V2 
inches thick in center. 

J. A. Thompson (Snow-shoe Thompson)' 

"The Chronicle adds: 

'As the Messenger rather disparages our man, we 
will cite what he has done, and he can do it again for 
an object. Thompson, with a heavy bag upon his 
back, has frequently run three miles in five minutes; 
has jumped precipices and landed ninety feet, right 
side up, from the starting point; has command of his 
shoes to such an extent that on the steepest and heavi- 
est-timbered mountains he glides among the ob- 
structions like the skater on ice; at ever so great a 
speed he will touch or pass within an inch of any 
designated object; he has often carried the mail from 
Genoa to Placerville, eighty miles, in fifteen hours 
running time; he runs standing, and in coming down 
the mountains he does not check himself with the 
pole, but turns around and runs up hill when he 
wants to stop. Now, we have stated what one of our 
Alpine boys has done and can do, we hope this chal- 

lenge will be accepted. We accept the wager of the 
$100 against our Messenger friend's neck.' ' 

However, the President of the Alturas Snowshoe 
Club was not deficient in the art of invective as de- 
veloped in mining communities and declined the 
challenge without conceding a whit to the awesome 
reputation of Thompson. Here is his reply (Sacra- 
mento Daily Union of April 7, 1869). 

Laporte, March 30, 1869 

"I see by your paper of the 26th instant that 'Snow- 
shoe Thompson' and the Alpine Chronicle have been 
having a good deal to say about the late races of the 
Alturas Snowshoe Club. Inasmuch as I was, in the 
absence of John Coutz, the acting President of the 
Club at the last meeting of the same, when the cele- 
brated snowshoeist made his appearance, I claim the 
privilege of saying a few words on behalf of the Club 
in reply. First, I will tell Thompson and the Chronicle 
man what the Alturas Snowshoe Club was not or- 
ganized for, and then what it was organized for. It 
was not organized to make business for doctors and 
undertakers by running races down steep and thickly 
timbered mountains or over high precipices, nor for 
the purpose of encouraging gambling, otherwise we 
might be induced to accept Thompson's bombastic 
challenge, which, if he would come to time with the 
money, would be sure to put several thousand dollars 
into our treasury. But it was organized to fill in the 
time during the long, tedious Winters when every- 
body is idle, affording an innocent amusement and 
health-giving exercise, thereby keeping the muscles 
in tune for the labors of the Summer. This being our 
object, we have always selected our tracks and man- 
aged our races with a view to safety, and invited all 
lovers of that kind of sport to come and take a chance 
for the purses which we have annually put up in 
accordance with this general invitation, as we sup- 
posed. This man Thompson made his appearance at 


Wielding six-foot poles for propelling and 
Steering, mountain women eagerly con- 
tended for prizes in skiing competitions. 
CHS, San Francisco 

our last annual races, was kindly received and treated 
in the most hospitable manner by the members of the 
Club, beside being afforded every facility for enter- 
ing into the sports of the day, such as 'dope' and 
snowshoes. How well he repayed our kind treatment 
his bombastic, breakneck article, copied into your 
paper, will show. He says: 'I did go to Laporte, 
expecting to see some scientific snowshoc racing, but 
I was disappointed; it was nothing but dope racing,' 
and then goes on with quite a rigmarole about coast- 
ing down hill on a hand-sled, etc. , admitting that our 
boys have manifested some skill in making 'dope,' 
but claims that they have no right to be called sci- 
entific snowshoers. Now I propose to compare the 
science, skill and ingenuity of this man Thompson in 
managing snowshoes with that of the boys of the 
Club, as exhibited on the first day's racing, and 
which I challenge him to deny. 

"On the first day, in the first race, among thirty- 
six names who had entered was that of J. A. Thomp- 
son, of Silver Mountain, who had come all the way 
from Alpine county, some 200 miles, just to let the 
Plumas and Sierra boys know what he could do, and 
how easy it would be for him to gobble up that little 
dab of $600. The track being 1,450 feet long and 100 
wide, down a comparatively smooth hill, not very 
steep, Thompson being in the fourth squad, the 
drum tapped and down they come, Thompson a long 
distance behind, and, would you believe it, this man, 
who has such perfect command of his shoes that he 
can 'glide down the steepest mountains among the 
thickest timber with perfect ease, and run within an 
inch of any given object,' actually found this track of 
100 feet, in an open space, too narrow for him and 
landed outside of the ropes, much to the annoyance 
of the crowd of spectators there assembled, suppos- 
ing themselves entirely out of the way of the most 
clumsy rider. 

"Thompson's science in the second race was about 

the same as in the first, after which the name of this 
celebrated snowshoc rider does not appear among the 

"Strange, indeed, that this celebrity from the clas- 
sic precincts of Silver Mountain, whose only fear was 
that his wide-spread fame would reach Laporte be- 
fore he did, and he be ruled out; who had traveled 
two hundred miles, boasting all along the road that 
he would show the Laporters how to ride snowshoes, 
should show the white feather, get on a big disgust 
and throw up the sponge the first day — turn his face 
toward his home and leave the pleasant sports which 
he had come so far to sec, while they were in full 
blast. The boys do say that he went by a different 
road than the one he came, not caring to answer the 
questions that might be asked on his way back. You 
may think I am a little rough on this man Thompson. 
It might have been, had he gone back to his friends 
and frankly acknowledged what he then knew to be 
true — that to be a good traveler is one thing, but to 
be a scientific racer is another — instead of attempting 
to cover up his ignominious defeat by giving out a 
braggadocio challenge that he knew nobody would 
accept. This fellow talks about the Laporters not 
'having a right to be called scientific snowshoc rid- 
ers!' Why, Doc. Brewster has a mule that been 
practising this Winter on snowshoes, that can beat 
him on an even string." aOT 


"Laughter-loving, idle, dancing Hispano-Americans" frolic in 
Charles Nahl's mythological scenes of mid-century California 
life. The Fandango, E. B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento 

David J. hangum 


Shifting Perspectives on Hispanic California 

Prior to the conquest of California in 1 846, American 
writing concerning the area's inhabitants was highly 
judgmental. In particular the Hispanic Califomios 
were depicted as a lazy and indolent people. 1 Al- 
though many foreign observers of Mexican Califor- 
nia also made this characterization, American authors 
were especially invective in their remarks. 2 

Then, after the absorption of California into the 
Union, a strange phenomenon ensued. Retrospective 
examination of the vanquished Hispanic culture con- 
verted the vices of idleness and indolence into virtues 
of graciousness, pastorality, and tranquility. The pri- 
mary agents for modification of the earlier negative 
image of California society were writers working in 
the fields of historical interpretation and literature. 
This transformation in image and the reasons for the 
dramatic shift in perspective make up a fascinating 
episode in California historiography. 

After the mid-nineteenth century, most Ameri- 
cans began to have mellowing sentiments about the 
society they had subjugated and, with the plunder of 
the Mexican land grant ranches, were so rapidly de- 
stroying. Even one of the chief actors in the physical 
conquest of California, Major John Charles Fremont, 
acquired over the subsequent decades a somewhat 
remorseful, repining view of her cultural subjection. 
The Californios' own descendants played a part in 
generating the new romantic image. 3 Doubtless this 
change in focus was not only flattering to them, but it 
also served as some emotional compensation for their 
lost wealth and power. 

Other, newer Californians, notably real estate de- 
velopers and politicians, had different sorts of com- 
pensation to garner from the promotion of an in- 
creasingly favorable, nostalgic view of the past. Al- 
though the new image of the recent past affected 
many people and manifested itself in such diverse 
outlets as architecture and dress styles, the changing 
sentiment was expressed earliest and with most clar- 
ity in published writings about the new state. It was 
these writers who most successfully modified the 
state's own cultural memory. 

The existence of the Hispanic past and its incon- 
gruity with certain generalities of American experi- 
ences — Protestantism, commercialism, and an indi- 
vidualistic pattern of frontier development — made it 
difficult for both the historian and the novelist to fit 
pre-American California into the new American 
world view. As Kevin Starr has written. 

The Hispanic past — as a matter of history or romance — 
would always be an essential premise in American Califor- 
nia's struggle for regional identity. . . . Behind the raw 
American surface of things lay a past which Americans had 
taken over just as surely as they had seized the land. The 
problem of how to graft that past onto the American 
present would always prove troublesome. 4 

The author holds an M. A. in history from San |ose State Uni- 
versity and an LL.M. in legal history from the University ol 
Michigan. In 1977 the Western History Association awarded him 
the Herbert Eugene Bolton Award in Spanish Borderlands 1 lis- 
tory. Currently investigating the legal institutions of Mexic an 
California, Langum is Professor of I aw at I >etroii College of 


As portrayed in the /^.^ engraving, California va- 
queros exhibited little oj the panache routinely attributed 
to than by later artists. The ( '.alifornio women, how- 
ever, have already been made romantically primitive. 
CHS, San Francisco 

"Never before or since was there a 
spot in America where life was a long 
happy holiday, where there was less 
labor, less care or trouble. " 
— Franklin Tut hill 

One way to reconcile the Hispanic past with the 
American present was to cease the criticism of the 
past and find positive things to say about the very 
traits, laziness and indolence, which had previously 
been criticized. As early as 1855 the authors of Annals 
of San Francisco referred to Mexicans in San Francisco 
as "laughter-loving, idle, dancing Hispano-Ameri- 
cans." The work is generally captious of Mexicans 
and the section dealing with the influx of foreigners 
into Mexican California states that "the indolent 
Spaniards stupidly looked on, while the prestige of 
their name, their wealth and influence were quietly 
passing into other and stronger hands." Still, there is 
little mordacity in this sort of criticism. Further, the 
book makes a clear distinction between Mexicans and 
native Calif ornios , praising the latter. Summarizing 
their observations of the mid-century Hispanic pop- 
ulation, the authors noted that 

the Hispano-Amcricans, as a class, rank far beneath the 
French and Germans. They are ignorant and lazy, and arc- 
consequently poor. A few of their number may have a 
high social standing in the city, while some more bear a 
respectable position. . . . It is not of them, nor of the few 
native Californians, who are gentlemen by nature, that we 
speak, but of the great mass of the race. 5 

Stilled is the vituperative tone, common so few years 

Only twenty years after the conquest of California, 

Franklin Tuthill, in one of the first American histories 
of California, wrote of the Californios as having 
"drifted through two generations . . . without dis- 
turbance, without bloodshed, with scarcely a ripple 
on the calm surface of their simple society." Tuthill 
was here referring specifically to the Spanish period, 
and at one point he labels the Californians "lazy." 
But if the overall impression is equivocal, the biting 
edge has disappeared and picturesqueness enhanced. 
In summing up the native Californians on the eve of 
conquest, he writes: "The people that made up the 
body of the population were dashing and careless, 
fond of fandangoes, always ready for a dance, mak- 
ing the most of their religious holidays with bull- 
fights and bear-baitings, and almost universally 
given to gambling." 6 

The preeminent historian of the entire Pacific 
slope, Hubert Howe Bancroft, sympathetically ad- 
vanced this image of a carefree society. In California 
Pastoral (1888) he rhapsodized: 

Salute this land, blessed above all lands! . . . It is not the 
Arcadia of tradition . . . it is the Arcadia of reality. . . . 
Never before or since was there a spot in America where 
life was a long happy holiday, where there was less labor, 
less care or trouble. . . ." 7 

Often this shift in retrospective view ofCalifornio 
society came in the form of romantic nostalgia for a 
society which was cither irretrievably lost or rapidly 
in the process of becoming so. One of the earliest 
fictionalizers of Hispanic California was Bret Harte, 
for whom the pre-American period consisted of 

happy, tranquil days. The proprietors of the old ranchos 
ruled in a patriarchal style, and lived to a patriarchal age. 
On a soil half tropical in its character ... a soft-handed 
Latin race slept and smoked the half year's sunshine 
away. . . . They awoke from their dreams only to find 
themselves strangers on their own soil, foreigners in their 
own country, ignorant even of the treasure they had been 
sent to guard. 8 


In the same vein of romantic nostalgia is Helen 
Hunt Jackson's 1884 description of Rancho Camulos 
in Ramona: 

The Senora Moreno's house was one of the best specimens 
to be found in California of the representative house of the 
half barbaric, half elegant, wholly generous and free- 
handed life led there by Mexican men and women of 
degree in the early part of this century. ... It was a 
picturesque life, with more ot sentiment and gayety in it, 
more also that was truly dramatic, more romance, than 
will ever be seen again on those sunny shores. 9 

Gertrude Atherton was still another novelist who 
indulged in sentimentality for Hispanic California. 
Two of her works, The Doomswoman, a novel (1892), 
and The Splendid Idle Forties, a collection of short 
stories (1902), concern California of the 1830s and 

1 840s. These writings all are love stories set among an 
unhistorically stratified "aristocracy" of pre-Amcri- 
can California. Although Atherton viewed the rudi- 
mentary California culture with some condescension, 
she describes its gaiety, charm and society with total 
approval and seems fully to agree with one of her 
characters who describes the life in California as "the 
gayest, the happiest, the most careless life in the 
world . . . But how long will it last? Curse the Amer- 
icans! They are coming." 10 

There is, nonetheless, an ambivalence in Ather- 
ton's writing about the Hispanic era. She herself had 
endured a loveless marriage to George Atherton and 
had resided with him on the Atherton estate where 
she lived a leisurely life of rural boredom, presided 
over by her Spanish-speaking parents-in-law. } Icr 


Silver-studded horses and rulers lasso a terrified grizzly hear in 

this 1877 painting by James Walker. Walker immortalized 

1 olorful California characters and pursuits for the children of the 

first Yankee Califomians. Denver Art Museum 

"How long will it last" Curse the 
Americans! They are coming. " 
— Gertrude Atherton 

Despite its Anglo-Saxon cast, the new romantic literature 
on California represented a sharp departure from earlier 
accounts. Whereas the original Yankee travelers had 
carped on the retrograde tendencies of the old order, the 
new writers vaunted its solid virtues. If the early visitors 
had glowered at California's wasted resources, the later 
ones sang the praises of pastoral labor. u 

father-in-law, Faxon Dean Atherton, had first ar- 
rived in California in 1836, left in 1839, made a for- 
tune in Chile, and returned to California with a Chil- 
ean wile. The Athertons spoke Spanish at home and 
regarded themselves as Spanish grandees. 
According to one Atherton biographer, 

Her two-hundred-pound Spanish mother-in-law, who 
larded tyranny with kindness, undertook at once to have 
Gertrude converted to Catholicism and to tone down her 
spirits. The slightest flicker of mental activity on the girl's 
part drew a subtle reminder that intellect was out of place 
among the temale sex. Her whole duty, she was made to 
understand, was to be a helpmeet to George. But Ger- 
trude's lord and master scarcely inspired such singular 
dedication. He idled away his days and spent all of the 
allowance his family meted out on himself. n 

It is no wonder that once the novelist had liberated 
herself from this environment that her accounts of 
Hispanic California would be heavily colored by her 
actual contact with an old-line Hispanic family. Ac- 
cordingly, her writing is sharply critical of the domi- 
nance of parental authority in the Hispanic families, 
particularly toward daughters, and she is as critical of 
male Califomio idleness and laziness as the most con- 
demning of the pre-1846 visitors. Taken as a whole, 
however, Atherton's description of pre- American 
California is sympathetic and nostalgic. 

This shift in viewpoint throughout the last half of 
the nineteenth century from one of criticism to sym- 
pathy and even admiration for the prc-American 
Californios has been aptly summarized by historian 
Leonard Pitt: 


-ow can this shift in viewpoint be understood 
historically? One reason, impossible to document, 
might be a shared conscious, or unconscious, desire 
to believe in the existence of a pleasant and romantic 
past in what was no longer a foreign land but an Amer- 
ican state fully incorporated into the Union. A second 
reason for the change in image was the conscious 
effort of some writers, new to California, to seek 
roots for a regional identity in the only historic past 
California had — its Hispanic background. This urge 
was particularly strong among the "local color" 
school of writers, including for example, Charles 
Fletcher Lummis, George Whartonjames, and Mary 

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, California, par- 
ticularly Southern California, underwent a cultural 
revolution which has been described by literary his- 
torians as the development of a "Mediterranean anal- 
ogy." 13 Increasingly in this era, Southern Calitor- 
nians became conscious of their subtropical environ- 
ment and analogized their situation with the flower- 
ing of the ancient Greek culture. Because Spain was 
likewise Mediterranean, the emphasis in Southern 
California somewhat naturally shifted to California's 
Spanish past. In culture, literature, and architecture, 
Anglo Califomians showed increasing interest in, 
and to an extent an aping of, what they regarded as 
the aristocratic life of leisure lived in pre-conquest 


Lummis, James, and Austin did the most to glorify 
and romanticize California's Spanish background. 
Significantly, and like the society of the 1880s and 
1 890s for which they wrote, they were new to Cali- 
fornia. Because they were newcomers in an area 
which had no literary traditions, these writers seized 
on the Spanish link to California's past as the most 
rapid way to establish a literary provenance for the 
region. In the process they could hardly help but be 
sympathetic toward the Hispanic past. The process 
has been well described by Franklin Walker: 

The enthusiastic embracing of all things Spanish that over- 
took the Southern California population in the last quarter 
of the nineteenth century was a result, to a very large 
degree, of this strong desire to establish cultural traditions 
in as short a time as possible. . . . The Spanish tradition 
. . . had many advantages, even though acceptance of it by 
the preponderately Protestant society involved tribute to 
an alien Catholicism. . . . The traditions and legends that 
were created came in time to be accepted without ques- 
tion. The kindhearted industrious Franciscans, led by the 

saintly Serra, had brought civilization and temporary af- 
fluence to the docile and grateful California Indians. The 
great ranchos had soon covered the land; they were lavish 
in their hospitality and were peopled with brightly dressed 
caballeros and beautiful, fine-tempered senoritas. Everyone 
took it easy in that Arcadia, and there was nothing of the 
push and shove of modern commercial life. The adobe 
houses were cool and comfortable; the tinkling guitars and 
the lovely mission bells brought music to a quiet land; and 
everywhere courtesy, generosity, and lightheartedness 
reigned supreme. 14 

This Mediterranean-Spanish tradition, of course. 
was not confined to California. Lummis wrote as 
much about the Southwest as about California, and 
even in books such as The Spanish Pioneers (1893) 
dealing directly with Spanish themes, he focused on 
the explorers and colonists of New Spain in the six- 
teenth century, only briefly mentioning the later 
Spaniards in California. Likewise, Mary Austin's pri- 
mary interest was in the desert region of the entire 
Southwest, not just California. At this same time 


other writers, such as Adolph Bandolier in Arizona 
and New Mexico, were involving themselves with 
the Spanish and Indian cultural backgrounds in areas 
outside of California. While the Spanish revival in 
literature and architecture of the 1880s and 1890s 
tended incidentally to ameliorate the earlier criticism 
of California indolence, the interest in things Spanish 
was not a phenomenon exclusive to California al- 
though it was there that it gained its greatest vogue. 
A third motivation for the shift in attitude toward 
Hispanic California was an anti-commercial attitude 
among many authors. For these writers, the halycon 
idyls of pastoral California contrasted favorably with 
the bustling of the American era. This position 
tempered criticism of Hispanic idleness and helped to 
transform the image of laziness into one of carefree- 
ness. While it is inordinately speculative to assert that 
certain authors held a favorable view of pre- 
American California because of anti-bourgeois atti- 
tudes, a definite relationship exists. The two view- 
points often appear in tandem, with sympathetic 
description of Hispanic California immediately con- 

trasted with the rude nature of contemporary 

Consider the comments of Robert Louis Steven- 
son in his 1 880 essay, "The Old Pacific Capital." 15 In 
writing ofCalifomios, he lamented that 

this Mexican and that Mexican would describe to you his 
old family estates, not one rood of which remained to him . 
You would ask him how that came about, and elicit some 
tangled story back-foremost. . . . It is true they were im- 
provident, and easily dazzled with the sight of ready 
money; but they were gentlefolk besides, and that in a way 
curiously unfitted them to combat Yankee craft. 

As for Monterey, the old capital itself, Stevenson 
continued, "Alas for the little town! it is not strong 
enough to resist the influence of the flaunting cara- 
vanserai, and the poor, quaint, penniless native 
gentlemen of Monterey must perish, like a lower 
race, before the millionaire vulgarians of the Big 
Bonanza." 16 In like manner, Jackson's reference in 
Ramona to the picturesque life led at Rancho Camulos 
is immediately followed by the sentiment that an 
aroma of romance still lingers about the ranch as 


L i ording to later American histories oj California, the 
Califomios "drifted through two generations . . . with 
scarcely a ripple on the calm surface oj their simple society. " 
This perception illuminates Andrew P. Hill's tgoi paint- 
ing, Santa Clara Mission in 1X49. Society of California 
Pioneers Collection, San Francisco 

"industries and inventions have not yet slain it." 
The contrast of pre-conquest tranquility with 
frantic American materialism was demonstrated 
architecturally in Elizabeth Hughes' 1875 book, The 
California of the Padres; or, Footprints of Ancient Com- 
munism. Hughes charged that Americans had 
brought to California only "a life of fevered ambi- 
tion" and urged her readers to contrast the vulgarity 
and pretentiousness of Nob Hill mansions with the 
dignity and grace of the missions and adobes. Judge 
Elisha W. McKinstry reflected similar sentiments. 
While addressing the Society of California Pioneers 
in 1 871, he opined that "something precious had been 
lost in the passing of Old California. By contrast, 
American California seemed opulent, pretentious, 
and vulgar." 17 Bret Harte made this same unpleasant 
contraposition in one of his short stories, "The 
Legend of Monte Del Diablo." He observed that the 
pastoral days of the Spanish era "were happy, peace- 
ful days for California. The vagrant keels of prying 
Commerce had not as yet ruffled the lordly gravity of 
her bays." 18 

But it remained for historian Hubert Howe Ban- 
croft to give the matter its fullest and most extrava- 
gant treatment. Writing in 1888, he counterpoised 
the pastoral, pre-American "golden age" of Cali- 
fornia with the American "age of gold": 

It was when the gold-seekers came that the golden age of 
California was destined to be alloyed with brass; for not 
the age of gold was California's true golden age. The age 
of gold was the age of avarice, the age of brutal murders, of 
wild rudeness and insane revellings. More nearly resem- 
bling the euthanasia of the ancients was the pastoral life 
preceding the finding of the Sierra's treasure. 19 

In another passage he uses the simile of a shepherd to 
describe his views of pre- and post-American 

The shepherd of the pastoral age is not the shepherd of 
to-day. On the gently sloping hillside, under the out- 

"The Shepherds of to-day are 
wolves; the people are their 
silly sheep, which they fatten 
but to devour. " 
— Hubert Howe Bancroft 

spread, bearded oak, sat the shepherd of pastoral days . . . 
watching his flocks as month after month they continued 
to wax fat and increase. . . . The shepherds of to-day are 
wolves; the people are their silly sheep, which they fatten 
but to devour. Shepherds of the pastoral times knew 
something of astronomy, and were full of piety to the 
gods. The shepherds of to-day know how to salt a mine, 
how to discriminate in freights and fares, how to keep up 
the price of sugar, of flour, how to swindle, cheat and lie; 
they, too, are full of piety; there is no god like their god, and 
his name is Mammon. 20 

It is clear that the retrospective analysis of Hispanic 
California changed dramatically in the second half of 
the nineteenth century. No historical discoveries 
were the cause of this modified viewpoint toward an 
earlier era which itself had been so definitively sev- 
ered from the present by American conquest and 
cultural absorption. Instead, the wellsprings of the 
transformation of the literary image of the earlier 
epoch came from changed social and individual needs 
in the later period. 

In the span of a few decades, writers like Robert 
Louis Stevenson and Elizabeth Hughes, as well as the 
comfortable bourgeoisie playing Spanish aristocrats 
in Southern California, all came to agree on the sup- 
posed graciousness and ease of life in pre-American 
California. When it was foreign land, Americans c nt- 
icized the Californio culture, but both friend and toe 
of the late nineteenth century present united to praise 


California History 

that same past as prelude to an American future. Life 
may be short and art long, as Seneca observed, but, as 
Goethe sagaciously added, judgment is difficult and 
opportunity transient. 


i . James I). Hart, American Images of Spanish California (Berke- 
ley: Friends of the Bancroft Library, i960); DavidJ. Langum, 
"Californios and the Image of Indolence," Western Historical 
Quarterly 9 (April 1978): 1 81-196. Works generally concerned 
with the literati of California and their descriptions of her 
inhabitants include Kevin Starr, Americans and the California 
Dream, 1850-1915 (New York: Oxford University Press, 
1973); Franklin Walker, A Literary History of Southern Cali- 
fornia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950); and 
touching on these matters, Cecil Robinson, With the Ears of 
Strangers: The Mexican in American Literature (Tucson: Uni- 
versity of Arizona Press, 1963) and Harry Clark, "Their 
Pride, Their Manners, and Their Voices: Sources of the 
Traditional Portrait of the Early Californians," California 
Historical Quarterly 53 (Spring 1974): 71-82. 

2. The following is merely a sampling. These and many other 
similar American observations are collected and fully cited in 
Langum, "Californios and the Image of Indolence," pp. 
1 81-186. Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Two Years Before the Mast 
(1840): "The Californians are an idle, thriftless people . . . ;" 
Alfred Robinson, Life in California (1846): "The men are 
generally indolent, and addicted to many vices, caring little 
for the welfare of their children, who, like themselves, grow 
up unworthy members of society;" Thomas Jefferson Farn- 
ham, Travels in the Califomias and Scenes in the Pacific Ocean 
(1844): [The] indolent, mixed race of California . . . [is] 
imbecile, pusillanimous . . . ;" Overton Johnson and Wil- 
liam H. Winter, Route Across the Rocky Mountains (1846): 
"The Californians . . . are a lazy, indolent and cowardly 
people, and have neither enterprise nor spirit of improve- 
ment in their disposition, they are only a grade above the 
aborigines . . . ;" Lansford W. Hastings, The Emigrants' 
Guide to Oregon and California (1845): "[I]gnorance and its 
concomitant, superstition, together with suspicion and 
superciliousness, constitute the chief ingredients of the Mex- 
ican character. . . . they are scarcely a visible grade, in the 
scale of intelligence, above the barbaric tribes by whom they 

are surrounded . . . [their] inherent indolence forbids any 
course which requires active exertion." 

3 . For examples see Richard Griswold del Castillo, "The del 
Valle Family and the Fantasy Heritage," California History 59 
(Spring 1980): 3; and Guadalupe Vallejo, "Ranch and Mission 
Days in Alta California," The Century Magazine 41 (Decem- 
ber 1890): 183, portions reprinted in DavidJ. Weber, Foreign- 
ers in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Ameri- 
cans (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973), 
pp. 45-49- 

4. Starr, Americans and the California Dream, pp. 46, 1 1 1 . 

5. Frank Soule,John H. Gihon, and James Nisbet, The Annals 
of San Francisco (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1855), pp. 
368, 83,471-72. 

6. Franklin Tuthill, The History of California (San Francisco: 
H. H. Bancroft & Co., 1866), pp. 112, 125, 153. 

7. Hubert Howe Bancroft, California Pastoral (San Francisco: 
The History Co., 1888), pp. 138, 179. 

8. Quoted in Stanley T. Williams, The Spanish Background of 
American Literature, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University 
Press, 1955), II: 216. 

9. Helen Huntjackson, Ramona (Avon Books, 1970), p. 15. 

10. Gertrude Atherton, The Splendid Idle Forties (New York: 
Macmillan Co., 1902), p. 4. 

1 1 . Elinor Richey, "The Flappers Were Her Daughters: The 
Liberated, Literary World of Gertrude Atherton," American 
West (July 1974): 7. 

1 2 . Leonard Pitt, The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of 
the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890 (Berkeley: Uni- 
versity of California Press, 1966), p. 289. 

13. See generally Chapter 12 of Starr, Americans and the California 
Dream, and Chapter 5 of Walker, A Literary History of South- 
ern California. 

14. Walker, A Literary History of Southern California, 121-123. 

1 5 . Penned in 1 880 and first appearing in Fraser's Magazine 
(London), it was later included in, and became well known as 
a part of Across the Plains, with Other Memories and Essays 
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1892). 

16. Quoted in James D. Hart, American Images of Spanish Cali- 
fornia, 26. 

17. Starr, Americans and the California Dream, 395 (paraphrasing 

18. Bret Harte, Writings of Bret Harte, 20 vols. (Boston: Hough- 
ton, Mifflin and Company, 1897; reprint ed.. New York: 
AMS Press, Inc., 1966), I: 383. 

19. Bancroft, California Pastoral, 179. 

20. Ibid., 182. 


Condemnation to Praise 

Pictorial-school image makers of the twentieth century like Samuel 
Adelsteiti photographed the extinct Californio past by reconstructing 
scenes such as Before the Gringo Came. CHS, San Francisco 



Jacquelyn Mollenkopf 


In the late-nineteenth century, train transportation in 
the western United States was, at best, convenient, 
reasonably comfortable, and inexpensive. A popular 
novelty and a miracle of power and movement, trav- 
el by train was increasingly available to people of 
modest means for pleasure excursions or daily com- 
mutes to the workplace. At worst, however, trains 
were often unreliable, if not dangerous, for passen- 
gers and trainmen alike. "If one wants to get a lively 
sense of what it means to rush through space at fifty 
or sixty miles an hour, he must get on a locomotive. 
Then only does he begin to realize what trifles stand 
between him and destruction," advised one writer in 
the late Eighties. 1 

Sensational accounts of collisions and other mis- 
haps due to mechanical or human failure were com- 
mon front-page fare in California newspapers as the 
number of accidents each decade kept pace with the 
expansion of track mileage. From 23 miles of track in 
i860, the state had 1854 miles of railway in operation 
by the end of the Centennial year of 1876, some 14 
percent of all new rail construction in the United 
States that year. By 1900, the state's roadbed miles 
reached 5751 . 2 

While railway accidents were occasionally the re- 
sult of human error, most wrecks were caused by 
poor roadbed construction, equipment defects, inade- 
quate braking and signaling systems, derailments, 
and unguarded crossings. 3 In 1877 the California 
State Board of Railroad Commissioners reported 
that "the casualties on railroads here are largely in 
excess of those in the east, owing in part to the lack of 
stringent laws with regard to highway crossings in 
this state." 4 In an article about "The Protection of 
Passenger Trains," the San Francisco Record of April <>. 

By the turn of the century , people of modest means could afford to 
use trains for daily commutes to their workplaces and for business 
and pleasure excursions to urban centers. CHS, San Francisco 

The author was senior reference librarian at the Mann County 
Library for nine years. She is presently working on a social 
history of resorts in Northern California. 


California History 

"/// nine cases out often, what are 
called railway accidents might have 
been avoided by reasonable care. " 
Sacramento Union, 1869 

1878, lamented a recent rear collision caused by the 
breakdown in communication between the conduc- 
tor and the engineer and suggested the use of some 
type of electrical signal: "What with the air brake, 
and the Miller platform and couplings, 5 the risk of 
railroad travel has already been greatly diminished, 
and we believe that with cars fitted thus, the old time 
fatal telescoping is out of the question." 6 

Conditions were apparently little improved since 
1869 when the Sacramento Union had protested the 
"reckless management" of railways: "In nine cases 
out often, what are called railway accidents might 
have been avoided by reasonable care on the part of 
directors, superintendents and superior officers of the 
roads, for the lives and persons of passengers. . . . If 
they [courts and juries] will give exemplary damages 
in every case where gross neglect is proved against 
officers of the road, these sickening horrors will soon 
cease." 7 

Early efforts in the field of safety legislation had 
created a hodgepodge of state regulations and com- 
missions that were hopelessly impotent in con- 
trolling the rapidly developing national network of 
railroads. In California, agitation for some kind of 
public control resulted in the Act of 1876 and the 
token appointment of three commissioners of trans- 
portation. Their duties included the inspection of 
railroads with reference to the security and accom- 
modation of the public. Two years later, the Act of 

1878 created an office of Commissioner of Transpor- 
tation, appointed by the governor, who filled an 
advisory role only and had the power to investigate 
and examine complaints dealing mainly with rates. 8 
The Constitution of 1879 provided for an elected 
board of three railroad commissioners to serve terms 
of four years each. Extensive statistics generated by 
their 415-page report of 1895-96 recorded only that 
132 passengers and employees were killed and 367 
injured during that period. 

At the federal level, the Interstate Commerce 
Commission (ICC) was organized in 1887 to regulate 
railroad commerce, but it had little power in safety 
matters and was unable even to conduct official in- 
quiries into the causes of accidents. Not until Con- 
gress enacted the Safety Appliances Act of 1893 were 
railroads forced to consider the installation of such 
equipment as automatic couplers and power con- 
trolled brakes, and another five years passed before 
such installation was actually accomplished. 9 

Despite increasing popular concern for public and 
employee safety, most railroads were unwilling or 
simply unable in the depression-ridden Nineties to 
further implement expensive mechanical safety de- 
vices and practices. Two more decades were to pass 
before the law required such safeguards as compul- 
sory locomotive boiler inspection and the adoption 
of train control mechanisms that were vital to the 
prevention of accidents, especially rear-end col- 

In 1902 the ICC called, in particular, for wider use 
of the block system . Either manual or automatic, this 
system was a method of using alarm signals or bells to 
halt the advance of a train beyond a certain point until 
the preceding train had passed another designated 
point farther down the line. Railroads, especially 
those in California, were slow to install these safety 
systems because of cost. An automated block system 
involved a hefty financial outlay for costly equip- 


Rail Disaster 

merit; the manual system necessitated an enlarged 
work force of signalmen or telegraph operators. 10 
Without some form of block system, however, pre- 
vention of an impending rear collision depended pri- 
marily upon railroad employees who waved flags and 
lanterns or activated torpedoes or fuses when a prob- 
lem developed. Secondly, halting a rear-end collision 
required alert perceptions and proper reactions from 
those to whom the signals were directed. n 

Before the year 1902 was over, a catastrophic colli- 
sion on the Southern Pacific Line in Northern Cali- 
fornia dramatized the perils of operating without 
adequate safety features like block systems and safety 
inspections. Coupled with other tragedies around the 
country, the accident fueled the growing fire of pub- 
lic concern that in the next decade led to significant 
federal regulatory action and increased cooperation 
between railroads and government to reduce railroad 

,t 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 20, 1902, just 
thirty minutes before the daily commuter train, the 
Stockton Flyer, was scheduled for its regular departure 
from Oakland, the Owl Limited steamed out of the 
cavernous train shed of the Oakland Mole. u A mod- 
ern train with double drawing-room sleeping cars, the 
Owl stopped briefly at Oakland's 16th Street station, 
and then headed northward into a long loop around 
the shoreline of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun 
bays, beginning its evening journey to Los Angeles. A 
day coach had been added to the Owl to accommodate 
weary shoppers, businessmen, and jubilant students 
and families bound for Christmas reunions with 
friends and relatives in the Fresno area. Rear car 
passengers quickly settled in for the ride, unfolding 
late editions of the San Francisco Bulletin or Oakland 

Prevention of an impending rear 
collision depended primarily upon 
railroad employees who waved 
flags and lanterns. 

Tribune, sharing boxed refreshments, or setting off 
for diner fare in the next car. u 

Only half seeing the dusky land and seascape roll- 
ing by, Eugene Lee reflected with satisfaction on his 
afternoon purchase of wedding attire in San Fran- 
cisco and his forthcoming nuptials in Fresno. For 
Clarence Olufs, Mabel Dezey, and G.S. Crites of 
Bakersfield, the welcome break from university 
studies had finally begun, and the exhilarating pros- 
pect of vacation was shared by the four Mayer 
youngsters seated nearby. Mrs. Mayer and her brood 
would soon be joining husband and father, a Fresno 
hotel operator. 14 

Passengers inclined toward whiling away minutes 
and miles in conversation found diverse topics in the 
experience and occupations of traveling companions: 
W.F. Temple of Oakland was an organizer for the 
Woodmen of the World; James Carroll, well known 
throughout the San Joaquin Valley, had supervised 
street pavement in its principal towns; Archie Keller 
was a book agent, Leonard Erwin a mattress maker, 
and Charles Owens a "racing man." For coal sales- 
man Charles A. Sessions, this trip was a sentimental 
journey. Rather than await his son's arrival in Oak- 
land as planned, he would surprise the lad in Fresno 
and ride back with him. 15 

Set apart in colorful but silent splendor was a bridal 
party of four Chinese, whose arrival in Fresno would 
climax lavish wedding preparations in that city's 


Chinatown. Beside richly robed, seventeen-year-old 
Ah Quoy, betrothed to a Fresno raisin merchant, sat 
her servant Lee Sou. The girl's mother and brother 
occupied seats directly behind her. Quan Long had 
forsaken his duties as head of Hung Tuck and Hung 
Sing long enough to escort his sister on her bridal 
journey, that gesture adding considerably to the im- 
pressiveness of the occasion. Next to him, fifty-year- 
old Tung Tai Gong clutched a small leather bag 
within the folds of her silk garments, determined that 
nothing loosen her grip on the precious dowry of 
gold coin, diamonds and jewelry. 16 

In the early darkness, the Owl sped past Stege, 
Richmond and San Pablo, veering sharply to the 
northeast after Giant, and skirting San Pablo Bay and 
Carquinez Strait at Rodeo, Crockett, and Port Costa. 
Soon Martinez, Avon, and Bay Point also disap- 
peared into the night. After Cornwall, 17 where the 
waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers first 
intermingle as they flow seaward, the train lost sight 
of watercourses and headed into the San Joaquin 

Shortly after passing Brentwood, Engineer Lewis 
C. Kerr noticed a leaking tube in the boiler of the 
Owl's locomotive — steam escaping into the flue 
threatened to extinguish the boiler's fire. Steaming 
poorly, the train labored to a dead stop just as it 
reached Byron in the southeastern corner of Contra 
Costa County, twenty minutes behind schedule. 
Kerr, a Southern Pacific engineer with a long service 
record, immediately summoned Conductor Dolan 
and instructed him to send a brakeman to the rear of 
the train to flag the approaching Stockton Flyer, now 
less than thirty minutes behind the Owl. Dolan dis- 
patched front brakeman Ed Austin and rear brake- 
man Cole on that urgent mission, Austin soon re- 

turning to report that Cole was trotting back, swing- 
ing the lantern. Austin assured Dolan that there was 
ample time to properly signal the Flyer. Unperturbed 
rear car passengers laughed and joked about the un- 
scheduled stop and the slowness of the Owl. 18 Un- 
known to the passengers aboard the Owl, the Flyer 
had also been delayed at Port Costa, its only stop 
between Oakland and Tracy. In order to regain these 
lost minutes, Engineer James McGuire highballed his 
train faster than the usual rate of sixty miles per hour. 
At the same time, he was alert to potential dangers on 
the upcoming long, straight, and somewhat down- 
grade stretch of track, and also aware that his power- 
ful and heavy locomotive was pulling an unusually 
light train on this particular run. 19 

The Flyer raced across the dark plain, the night 
crisp , cloudless , and clear except for occasional swirls 
of thick black smoke falling back from the defective 
locomotive that now preceded him by only minutes. 
Then McGuire strained to make out a sudden un- 
natural brightness far ahead along the track. For an 
instant, winking dots of light seemed to appear and 
then vanish. Abruptly and with horrifying certainty, 
the steady glow of red warning lights rushed toward 
him. In a desperate but hopeless attempt to check the 
deadly momentum of the leviathan locomotive, 
McGuire sprang to ram closed the throttle, choke off 
steam and air, sound a warning blast, brake, and 
reverse. 20 

When the Flyer's giant locomotive collided with 
the Owl, it telescoped the Owl's rear coach. Various 
accounts portray the passenger car run through like 
"a cannonball through a log," "a knife cutting 
cheese," "a gigantic sword driven by the arm of a 
monster." Then it plowed another six feet into the 
diner car ahead. Chester H. Rowell, editor ot the 


I'm eding the ( )wl Limited by just thirty minutes, the Stock- 
ton llycr headed out oj the Oakland Mole in late afternoon. It 
stopped briefly at Oakland's Sixteenth Street Station (pictured 
here) before heading up the San Francisco Bay shoreline and 
looping into the San Joaquin I 'alley. CHS, San Francisco 

Fresno Republican, who was seated with Frank Short 
in the forward part of the Owl's dining car, later 
described "the fearful crash, then total darkness, fol- 
lowed by a series of grinding, crushing blows . . . 
broken glass everywhere, and people thrown in 
every direction. The rear car was a more horrifying 
sight than busy men had time to realize at the time, 
the back half in ominous silence except for the hissing 
of escaping steam . Against the front end was packed a 
mass of broken timbers, bent iron and writhing, 
screaming, crushed andscalded humanity." 21 

According to Conductor Charles Schu of the Flyer, 
the roof of the wrecked car rested on the boiler like a 
great umbrella, the sides and seats hanging on either 
side, with men, women and children pinned be- 
tween. Along with brakemen C.F. Duncan and CJ. 
Schwartz, he grimly set to work in the dark amid 
clouds of steam, wielding axes to free the living and 
recover the dead. Dr. Bird of Byron Hot Springs, a 
mile away, quickly arrived at the scene, accompanied 
by Dr. J. Davidson and a trained nurse, both guests at 
the resort. The Byron church became a temporary 
hospital, and victims were also cared for at the 
Springs hotel. A wrecking train dispatched from 
Oakland steamed up with a crew of medical and 
rescue workers and conveyed the most seriously in- 
jured to the Southern Pacific hospital in San 
Francisco. 22 

Byron area residents rushed from town and nearby 
farms to render assistance, building warming and 
light-giving fires along the tracks, removing wreck- 
age, and tending the injured and dying. Six-year-old 
Ellen Hosie and her sister were left in their grand- 
mother's care as their mother and aunt rushed to the 
scene. Minutes later Mrs. Hosie struggled to unwind 
great lengths of cloth from the bound, scalded foot of 
a Chinese woman, the victim resisting mightily all 
the while. 23 

Editor Rowell noted that among the survivors, 

"not one person in his agony forgot that others were 
also suffering," and he saw or heard "not one cow- 
ardly or selfish act or word that night." Passenger 
James Carroll reportedly displayed "signal heroism 
in trying to assist the injured and preserve calm when 
so fearfully hurt himself," and he was gratefully re- 
membered in floral offerings by survivors when laid 
to final rest in Sacramento ten days later. 24 

Fortune favored other near victims in inexplicable 
ways. A.J. Post of Fowler, sitting in a rear seat of the 
Owls last car next to bridegroon-to-bc Eugene Lee, 
was dropped through an opening to the ground be- 
side the car, even as the Flyer's engine forged still 
further into the stalled Owl. Fowler was able to 
scramble to his feet and walk to a nearby fence, where 
he steadied himself and returned to assist others. 
A. Cohn, like most other riders of the Flyer, was sent 
sprawling at the moment of impact and knocked 
senseless, but he counted himself lucky to have 
waited for the Flyer rather than yielding to the per- 
suasion of others to join them in the crowded rear car 
of the earlier-departing Owl. 25 

On December 24, when the Stockton Daily Record 
reported that the body of a young woman still lay 
unidentified in the Oakland morgue, the parents of 
nineteen-year-old Mattie Franks expressed fear that it 
was their daughter. Since phoning her father on 
Saturday afternoon that she would arrive home on 
the evening train, they had received no word from or 
about her. When asked by the Record why he had not 
gone to Oakland to identify the remains, Mr. Franks 
was forced to admit to financial embarrassment, 
whereupon the Southern Pacific quickly provided 
free transportation. One of the happier notes among 
newspaper follow-up stories was the notice that Mat- 
tie's return had been delayed and she was safely 
home. 26 

Twenty-seven persons died at Byron that Decem- 
ber evening or within days after, including the entire 


Sonic fifty miles east of Oakland was Byron 
Hot Springs, accessible either by train or by 
' 'the finest macadamized or graveled roads. " 
CHS, San Francisco 

(Facing page) With incomplete reports of the ac- 
cident, the Sunday morning San Francisco Call 
could only suggest the extent of the grisly disas- 
ter. Pictured in the vignettes are the Byron Hot 
Spring Hotel and passengers Frank Short and 
Chester H. Rowell, who escaped injury although 
riding in the dining car. Call, December 21, 

Chinese wedding group, Mrs. Mayer and three of 
her children; Temple, the Woodmen official; Owens, 
the racing man; Erwin, the mattress maker; the 
senior Sessions; and a number of college students. 
Flags at half-mast signaled a joyless Christmas Eve in 
Fresno following afternoon services for six victims, 
including Clarence Olufs, to whom the entire high 
school paid tribute. Two more young men were 
buried on Christmas Day. 27 

Most of the railroad employees operating the trains 
escaped unhurt, but George Washington, chief cook 
in the dining car, and three additional cooks and two 
waiters were among the scores seriously burned and 
injured. A weak and shaken Engineer McGuire testi- 
fied on December 30 that just before the collision he 
saw an unusual number of white lights at or near 
Byron as the Flyer neared that town, but that he did 
not see the red warning lights in time to stop. While 
his frantic application of the air brakes halted the 
revolution of the Flyer's wheels, it could not over- 
come the terrible forward thrust of the cars. He whis- 
tled when directly opposite the whistling post; per- 
haps 1000 feet farther along he suddenly saw the red 
lights of the Owl and flagman Cole, then applied the 
brakes the instant he saw the signal . From the time of 
whistling until spotting the signal, about ten seconds 
elapsed, the train moving approximately 88 feet a 
second. 28 

In answer to questions regarding the visibility on 
this clear night and the distance required for stopping 
the train, McGuire responded that although one 

might see lights a mile distant, the draft and blur on 
the windows from an engine traveling at high speed 
considerably affected the eyes. He felt that stopping 
his fast-moving train on the long downgrade would 
have required 3500 feet. 29 

Asked if it was a safe practice to run such fast trains 
as the Flyer and Owl with only a ten-minute head- 
way, an attorney and a superintendent for the rail- 
road testified that it was done because the public 
demanded quick service. Furthermore, it was added, 
the ten-minute headway was accepted by all rail- 
roads. 30 

In January the inquiring jury found that the crews 
of the Flyer and the Owl "were operating under the 
general rules of the company at the time of the colli- 
sion, but had failed in large measure to take advan- 
tage of all precautious which said rules specifically 
allow." The jury's report also noted that similar acci- 
dents would continue to occur unless the block signal 
system to maintain space between trains was estab- 
lished over the entire line. Both Engineer McGuire 
and Brakeman Cole, the signaled and the signaler, 
were later dismissed from their positions with the 
railroad. 31 


ust as it was to be years before the use of a block 
system was made mandatory on rail lines, regular in- 
spection of locomotive boilers and other equipment 
was still a long time in the future. The need for such 


,?, , . 1 ^^ 4 J K> ■%- 



u b 

I.IMK XCm— NO. 21. 




j TERRIBLE DISASTER on the railroad near Byron, Contra Costa County, early last evening 
resulted in ten deaths outright and the injury of more than a score of passengers. 

California History 

inspection, however, was not unrecognized by the 
reporting journals closest to the Byron tragedy. The 
Oakland Tribune revealed that a great shortage of 
Southern Pacific railroad cars and locomotives cur- 
rently existed, and that as a result locomotives long in 
disuse were being run regularly and discarded passen- 
ger engines were being refitted to handle freight. 32 

The Stockton Daily Record exposed another safety 
dilemma constantly faced by trainmen. At the end of 
a run, engineers routinely noted orders for repairs in 
an entry book at a track's roundhouse where the 
locomotives' direction was switched, but the men 
were never informed whether or not their requests 
for repairs had been heeded. Frequently they took 
locomotives out that were known to be unsafe for 
themselves and their passengers. Faced with their em- 
ployer's ultimatum to take the engine or quit, the 
engineers usually accepted the risk. In this respect, 
railroad safety regulations lagged far behind rules 
governing river steamers requiring that a vessel could 
not be operated without an inspection certificate 
signed by a government official. 33 

State and federal legislation to promote the safety 
of employees and travelers upon the railroads was 
finally achieved in the first decade of the new century, 
in part because accidents like that at Byron continued 
to take many lives each year. 34 But reform of railroad 
practices and policy evolved only after years of in- 
quiry and experimentation and the gradual reconcili- 
ation of carriers' financial interest with the public 

In 1903 and 1910, the national Safety Appliances 
Act of 1893 was amended to establish standards for 
equipment to be used on all railroad cars, and the 
Hours of Service Act of 1907 aimed to reduce human 
error resulting from employees overworking. The 
Accident Reports Act of 1910 provided for official 
investigation into accidents resulting in casualties, 
and the Boiler Inspection Act of 191 1 guaranteed 

supervision and periodic inspection of trains. 35 

In 191 1 , Max Thelen, attorney for the California 
Railroad Commission, conducted a thorough inspec- 
tion of the state's railroad operations and facilities. 
His subsequent recommendations included the ap- 
pointment of commission members who possessed 
sufficient expertise to inspect the physical condition 
of all tracks, stations, plants, and other facilities and 
equipment, and the requirement that regular reports 
be made on the quality and efficiency of the service 
rendered to the public. The Commission, he con- 
tinued, should be given immediate notice of every 
accident in order to investigate and adopt measures to 
prevent reoccurrence. The bulk of Thelen's recom- 
mendations were incorporated into the Public Utili- 
ties Act of 191 1. 36 

The Transportation Act of 1920 added a new di- 
mension to railroad regulation in California and the 
nation. It shifted the legal emphasis from mere en- 
forcement of restrictive measures to the recognition 
of a positive public responsibility to provide adequate 
and safe transportation service. This landmark legis- 
lation also ensured that the installation of automatic 
train- control and other safety devices was no longer 
left entirely to the discretion of the railroads. Acci- 
dents like the Byron tragedy would not so regularly 
and needlessly happen again. 37 


1 . H.G. Prout, "Safety in Railroad Travel," Scribner's Maga- 
zine, September 1889, p. 238. Based on his survey of equip- 
ment and the number of reported casualties per millions of 
passenger miles traveled, the author concluded that rail travel 
was generally safe. However, accident data prior to 1901 was 
inaccurate and incomplete. For example, accidents occurring 
on intrastate routes frequently were unreported to the ICC. 
The enactment of the first accident report law in March 1901 
produced the following statistics: For the year ending June 
30, 1902, 864 passengers and employees were killed and 8632 
injured in collisions, derailments, and miscellaneous train 
accidents. In the next year 1059 were killed and 10,864 in- 


The stalled Owl 's rear coach and part of the din- 
ing car were nearly unrecognizable masses of steel 
after the Flyer plowed into them. Dclmcr Wilder 



jured. These figures do not include the large number of 
casualties suffered by employees involved in coupling and 
switching accidents or those incurred by passengers getting 
on and off cars or falling from cars. U.S. Interstate Commerce 
Commission Accident Bulletins 1-8 (Washington, D.C., 1902 
and 1903). 

In California, the total number of passengers, trespassers, 
and employees killed during the year endmgjune 30, 1903, 
was 329 and injuries numbered 1792, compared with 226 
killed and 1247 injured the previous year. Annual Report of 
Board oj Railroad Commissioners of California, December ; 1 , 
1 go 3 (Sacramento, 1904). 

1 870 (403 .49 miles of track); 1880 (2195 miles); 1890 (4077. 19 
miles). John F. Stover, American Railroads (Chicago: Univ. of 
Chicago Press, 1961), p. 223. Also, "California and the Rail- 
roads," Overland Monthly , June 1895, P- 681; and "California 
Railroads 1876," Bancroft Scraps, Vol. 80, Pt. 1, p. 229, 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 
Oscar Osburn Winther, The Transportation Frontier; Trans- 
Mississippi West 1865-1890 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and 
Winston, 1964). 

Bancroft Scraps, Vol. 80, Pt. 1 , p. 232; San Francisco Bulletin, 
December 15, 1877. 

The Westinghouse air brake, patented in 1869, was widely 
used on U.S. railroads. The Miller coupler and buffer, pat- 
ented in 1863, reduced the dangers and discomforts of coup- 
ling. Horace Porter, "Railway Passenger Travel," Scribner's 
Magazine, September 1888, pp. 301-2. 
Bancroft Scraps, Vol. 80, Pt. 3, p. 853. 
Bancroft Scraps, Vol. 80, Pt. 4, p. 1317; "Protection on 
Railways," Sacramento Union, November 1869. 
Frank Dickinson, History of the California Railroad Commis- 
sion. Typescript, unnumbered, Bancroft Library. 
I.L. Shartman, The Interstate Commerce Commission, Pt. I 
(New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 193 1), 245-246. 
Ibid., p. 276. 
Ibid., p. 279. 

Put into service in December 1898, the Owl was an important 
advance in rail transportation on the Pacific Coast. Leaving 
the San Francisco Bay Area in late afternoon, it arrived in Los 
Angeles early the next morning, making the nearly 500 mile- 
run in less than fifteen hours, making only four stops. 
San Francisco Bulletin, December 21, 1902, p. 1; Stockton Daily 
Record, December 22, 1901, p. 6. 

14. Stockton Independent, December 21, 1902, p. 1. 

15. Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902, p. 6; Oakland 
Tribune, December 22, 1902, p. 12. 

16. Stockton Independent, December 24, 1902, p. 1. 

17. Cornwall was the railroad and post office designation for 
Pittsburg Landing, connected by the Pittsburg railroad to the 


1 1. 


coal mines of Somersville. History of Contra Costa County, 
Calif. (San Francisco: W.A. Slocum and Co., 1882). 

18. Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902, p. 6. 

19. Ibid.; Fresno Weekly Democrat, December 31, 1902, p. 1. 

20. Fresno Weekly Democrat, January 7, 1903, p. 13; December 31, 

1902, p. 1. 

2 1 . Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902, p. 6; Stockton 
Independent, December 21, 1902, p. 1; Oakland Tribune, De- 
cember 22, 1902, p. 1. 

22. Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902, p. 6; Stockton 
Independent , December 21, 1902, p. 1; San Francisco Bulletin, 
December 21, 1902, p. 1. 

. Interview with Ellen Hosie Ladd, Stockton, California, 

Sept. 30, 1982. 
. Stockton Daily Record, I )ecember 22, 1902, p. 6; Fresno Weekly 

Democrat, December 31, 1902, p. 7. 
. Stockton Independent, December 21, 1902, p. 1; Stockton Daily 

Record, December 22, 1902, p. 6. 
. Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902, p. 1; December 

24, 1902, p. 4. 
. Stockton Daily Record, December 22, 1902. p. 12; Oakland 

Tribune, December 22, 1902, p. 12; Stockton Independent, 

December 21, 1902, p. 1. 
28. Stockton Independent, December 21, 1902, p. 1; Fresno Weekly 

Democrat, December 31, 1902, p. 1. 
. Fresno Weekly Democrat, December JI, 1902. p, 1 
. Ibid. 
. Fresno Weekly Democrat, January 7. 1903, p. i3;January 14, 

1903, p. 7. 

. Oakland Tribune, December 29, 1902, p. 3. 

. Stockton Daily Record, December 24, 1902, p. 2. 

. Historical Statistic* oj the ( 'nited States, 1789-1945 (Washing- 
ton, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1949) 

35. Sharfman, ICC, pp. 249-275. 

36. Dickinson, Railroad Commission 

37. Ibid., pp. 177.279- 







Phil Townsend t lamia 

Will the Bay Bridges End 

Before the completion qj the San Francisco-Oakland Bay 
Bridge in 1936 ami the Golden ( rate Bridge in 1937, 
Westways editor Phil Townsend Hanna speculated on the 

unknown effects qj opening San Francisco to contra costa 
commuter traffic. Among the possibilities, he suggested, 
were the depopulation of the city as a residential center and 
the unleashing of a daily cavalcade of vehicles which the 
cramped city was ill-equipped to handle. Hanna' s editorial 
is reprinted from Westways, September 1935. 

Now that the towers are up, catwalks have been 
strung, and cable-spinning has started, Franciscanos 
and their neighbors about the bay are beginning to 
wonder if the bay bridges will, after all, effectively 
end San Francisco's long-suffered isolation. 

Confined to a narrow tongue of land, surrounded 
by the sea on three sides, and with an imposing 
mountain barrier on the fourth, San Francisco for 
years has prayed for a more reliable form of contact 
with the contra costas of the bay — Oakland and the 
east bay coastal plain, and Sausalito and the northern 

In these areas — and in these areas alone — is there 
sufficient room for the city to expand and achieve its 
ultimate high destiny. Whether it is destined to do so 
or not will be determined some time about 1937 
when the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting the city 
with the Marin shore, and the San Francisco-Oak- 
land bridge, joining it to the eastern mainland, are 
completed. Whether they are successful in decentral- 
izing a now all-too-highly concentrated population is 
dependent upon two things, viz: the integration, as a 
part of the bridges, of adequate rapid transit facili- 
ties, and the incorporation in the traffic systems, at 
their sundry termini, of provisions for the free and 
quick dispersal and absorption of human and vehicu- 
lar traffic. 

Reprinted from Westways, September 1Q3} 

It is incredible that a city of such a size as San 
Francisco should have been situated in so inaccessible 
and so constricted a locality. The explanation is to be 
found, as so many similar explanations are, in human 
selfishness and cupidity. By 1847, when the stars 
patently indicated that the great city of the Pacific 
must rise somewhere on the shores of the bay of St. 
Francis, there were four possible sites, three of them 
at the time sparsely settled. These were Yerba Buena 
cove, between Clark and Rincon points, and a part of 
the present city; Sausalito, Benicia, and the east bay 
where Oakland and adjacent cities subsequently were 

Only two of these sites — Benicia and the present 
San Francisco — were seriously considered and ac- 
tively projected. Sponsors of the former were Robert 
Semple, Thomas O. Larkin, and M.G. Vallejo, and 
of the latter, Washington A. Bartlett, alcalde, or chief 
magistrate, of Yerba Buena, and Joseph L. Folsom, 
quartermaster. Proponents of both sites admittedly 
had a pecuniary interest in them, but this was secon- 
dary with Semple, Larkin and Vallejo, whereas it was 
primary with Barlett and Folsom. 

The Benicia site was named "Francisca" in honor 
of Vallejo's wife, Francisca Benicia Vallejo. Cogni- 
zant of the lure and potency of the name "San Fran- 
cisco," familiar in maritime circles tor almost two 
centuries, Bartlett, in his capacity as alcalde, officially 
appropriated it for Yerba Buena on January 30, 1847. 
Thereupon, Vallejo and his associates changed the 
name of Francisca to "Benicia." From then on the 
contest was decidedly in favor of the peninsula vil- 
lage. A city grew — very much in spite of rather than 
because of — its location. 

The folly of choosing the peninsula rather than the 
mainland as the locale for a metropolis, has been 
universally criticized, but none has more cogently 
excoriated the procedure than the eminent California 
historian, Hubert Howe Bancroft. Writing as early as 


San Francisco's Isolation? 

Path of escape, orfutile monument? Here is the Oakland Bay Bridge, seen from 
Yerba Buena Island. The horizontal cross-members on each tower will support the 
viaducts for automobile and rapid-transit rail traffic. CHS, San Francisco 

There will be loosed in a city with 
none-too-adequate street & high- 
way facilities a daily cavalcade of 
io,5q8 vehicles . 

1888, before automobiles had added vastly to the 
chaos of all cities, however spaciously devised, Ban- 
croft remarked: 

"San Francisco . . . was convenient to shipmasters, 
however inconvenient to Californians; it suited those who 
possesed the power to make the change; and now through- 
out all time, while moulder the bones of Bartlett and 
Folsom, the people may sit upon the fence and whistle for 
a remedy. They may spend thousands of years, and mil- 
lions upon millions of money in a useless and enforced 
crossing and recrossing of the bay for an infinitely worse 
spot than was there awaiting them on the other side." 

In the interval since Bancroft, himself a Francis- 
cano, wrote so mordantly, almost half a century has 
elapsed. Each year congestion has become more an- 
noying and San Francisco's fatuous location more 
apparent. Engineering and mechanical skill have 
been liberally employed to correct deplorable condi- 
tions, but with no great success. Two bridges across 
the lower bay and another across Carquinez Strait 
now are in operation, but these are of little service. 
For contacts with business neighbors and to gain 
access to their homes, scattered in a wide semi-circle 
about the bay and down the peninsula, Franciscanos 
have been forced to rely upon an extensive and effi- 
cient, though by its inherent nature unsatisfactory, 
system of ferries and fast short-line railroads. 

Now, with the Golden Gate and San Francisco- 
Oakland bridges, the city is making a supreme effort 
to remedy its intolerable affliction. Into these struc- 

tures will go some of the millions of which Bancroft 
speaks — $77,200,000 in fact, into the San Francisco- 
Oakland structure, and $35,000,000 into the span 
across the Golden Gate. 

If the remedy proves effective, the investment will 
have been a wise one. If it isn't effective, San Fran- 
cisco must reconcile itself to an uncertain future. This 
is its last chance to cast off its throttling fetters; there's 
nothing else to be done. The construction of the 
bridges, at the outset, was unequivocally applauded 
by every citizen from the lowliest to the mightiest, 
tor they were viewed as instruments of deliverance. 
They are, generally speaking, still so hailed, but the 
hysteria has subsided somewhat and not a few indi- 
viduals have come to be assailed with certain misgiv- 
ings about their utility. 

Provision has been made for rapid transit over the 
San Francisco-Oakland bridge. The structure carries 
two decks, the upper to be devoted to private pas- 
senger vehicles, including buses, and the lower to 
heavy trucks and interurban railroad trains. Engi- 
neers have estimated that during the first year's 
operation of the bridge (1937), the structure will 
carry 16,000,000 people in 8,000,000 private vehicles, 
and 35,640,000 passengers by interurban railroad. 
This means an average daily automobile traffic of 
10,958 vehicles, carrying approximately 22,000 
people each way, and an average daily interurban 
railroad traffic of 48 ,822 people each way. This means 
an average daily movement across the bay of about 
one-fifth of San Francisco's population. Remember 
this, for we shall see later how it may affect the entire 
bay region. 

The estimate for railroad traffic may or may not be- 
high; so too may or may not be the estimates for 
vehicular traffic. If the latter estimates are approxi- 
mately correct, transportation is destined to be more 
costly than ever before to Franciscanos domiciled on 
the Oakland shore, for Mr. Motoring Commuter 


Automobiles cross the Golden Gate Bridge on 

opening day, 1937. Streams of commuter traffic 

sooti followed. CHLS, San Francisco 

will be confronted with the necessity for paying tolls 
both ways (at a rate not yet definitely determined) 
plus, in the majority of cases, daily parking fees. 
Moreover, there will be loosed in a city with none- 
too-adequate street and highway facilities a daily cav- 
alcade of 10,958 vehicles. 

So much, for the time being, for the Oakland-San 
Francisco bridge. Plans for the Golden Gate Bridge, 
at the moment, make no provision for interurban 
railroads. A high-speed monorail connecting the 
Marin shore via the bridge with San Francisco and 
continuing down the peninsula perhaps as far as San 
Jose has been suggested as an ideal form of rapid 
transit, but it has gained little in the way of public or 
official endorsement. 

First year's operations of the Golden Gate Bridge 
contemplate an average daily traffic each way of 2,93 5 
vehicles, carrying (if the same ratio holds true as for 
the San Francisco-Oakland bridge) 5,870 passengers. 
This raises the total number of automobiles ushered 
into and out of the city across the two bridges each 
day to 27,786, and envisions a movement of almost a 
quarter of the city's population. 

If these figures hold true, a mighty shift in popula- 
tion may result in the entire bay region. Already 
trans-bay interests are conscious of this possibility. 
On both the Marin and Oakland shores we may 
expect to see in the near future aggressive campaigns 
to demonstrate to Franciscanos the superior advan- 
tages to be enjoyed there as residential communities. 

Retail establishments largely dependent on the res- 
ident Franciscanos for their patronage are displaying 
apprehension. So, too, are communities down the 
peninsula who fear a general exodus. There is less 
ground, it may be said, for their alarm than for the 
alarms of others, for they enjoy climatic attractions 
equal to, it not superior to, those of the contra costas. 

So I return to my theme. Will the bay bridges end 
San Francisco's isolation? If they function properly. 

and adequate facilities are provided to disperse and 
house the traffic they develop, the answer must be 
"Yes," with this one reservation: If a major shift in 
population does occur, social isolation may be in- 
creased while economic isolation is decreased. It is 
not beyond the bounds of possibility that San Fran- 
cisco may be virtually depopulated as a residential 
center, at the same rime growing measurably in 
stature as a commercial, industrial and financial 

The bay bridges, well-knitted into the transpor- 
tation system of the entire bay region will lift the 
area to new and advanced levels. Lacking this inte- 
gration they may become mere monuments to the 
science of engineering — and to the decadence ol 1 
glorious city. 

Copyright 10,35, Automobile Club of Southern Cali- 
fornia, reproduction by permission, courtesy of NX/ est v> ays. 


Book Reviews 

W. Michael Mathes, Reviews Editor 

Plotting the Golden West: American Literature and 

the Rhetoric of the California Trail. 

By Stephen Fender. (Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 1982. xi, 241 pp. $24.95.) 

Seeking the Elephant, 1849: fames M. Hutchings' 
Overland Journal. 

Ed. by Shirley Sargent. (Glendale: Arthur Clark Co., 

1980. 209 pp. $30.00.) 

James Graham Cooper: Pioneer Western Naturalist. 

By Eugene Coan. (Moscow: University ofldaho Press, 

1981. 255 pp. $11.95.) 

Mountain Climber: George B. Bayley, 1840-1894. 

By Evelyn H. Chase. (Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1981. 173 
pp. $12.95.) 

Joaquin Murrieta and His Horse Gangs. 

By Frank Latta. (Santa Cruz: Bear State Books, 1980. xiii, 
685 pp. $24.95.) 

Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith. 

By Gee ^ : Hildebrand. (San Diego: Howell-North 
Books, 1982. xviii, 318 pp. $15.00.) 

The Stow Affair: Anti-Semitism in the California 


By Budd Westreich. (Sacramento: Press of Arden Park 
f 861 Los Molinos Way, 95825], 1982. 72 pp. $12.50.) 

Charles Hopper and the Pilgrims of the Pacific: A 

1 84 1 California Pioneer, His Narrative and Other 


Ed. by Franklin Beard. (La Grange: Southern Mines Press, 
1981. xiv. 161 pp. $60.00.) 

Gold Diggers and Camp Followers: The Nevada 

County Chronicles, 1845-1851. 

By David A. Comstock. (Grass Valley: Comstock-Bo- 
nanza Press, 1982. xvi, 413 pp. $21.50.) 

Reviewed by Ronald Genini, Social Studies Department 
Chairman at Central High School, Fresno, recipient of the 
Jaycees Outstanding Young Educators Award for Fresno 
County, and author of several articles on California history. 

Nineteenth-century California continues to fascinate re- 
searchers and students alike, if the number of books issued 
by commercial publishers is any indication. Current in- 
terest, which seems to focus on the years after 1849, is 
inspired by that era's bumper crop of strong individualists 
and the booming development of a multifaceted economy 
synchronized with the image of a peaceful paradise. Com- 
bined with the continuing nostalgia for plastic Victoriana, 
this creates a market for books on those remarkable times. 

A glib, highly readable author, Stephen Fender presents 
a collection of views of the Gold Rush by people of vary- 
ing levels of sophistication. He draws on diaries, journals, 
letters, and newspapers to show that while American writ- 
ers attempted to create a uniquely American style, they 
ironically renewed their dependence on European models; 
this dependence increased as those traveler-writers moved 
away from metropolitan centers (thus, a group of Osages 
"had fine Roman countenances" [p. 21]). 

Fender's work sets the Forty-niners in the context of the 
books they read, such as Fremont's Between the Missouri 
River and the Rocky Mountains (1843) and Edwin Bryant's 
What I Saw in California (1848). One chapter covers the 
letters and diaries of the few women who accompanied 
their families to California, while the penultimate chapter 
examines Mark Twain's Virginia City experiences and 
how they influenced his writing style. The last chapter sets 
the Forty-niners "double style" — fantasy combined with 
documentary fact (which he sees culminating comically in 
the 1970 film Little Big Man) — in the context of their New 
England contemporaries, Melville and Hawthorne. 

Yosemite's Shirley Sargent has made another valuable 
contribution to California historical writing, this time by 
editing Hutchings' Journal of his Overland Trek to Califor- 
nia. The new book is volume XII of the American Trail 
Series, under the general editorship of A.B. Guthrie, Jr. 


Eastern observers who resisted the national rush to 

California satirized the exaggerated expectations of 

the would-be Argonauts. New Yorker Nathaniel 

Currier produced this hand-colored lithograph (11V2 

X 17V2"), replete with verbal barbs, in i84g. CHS 

Fine Arts Collection 

An "irrepressible love of travel and adventure" brought 
Hutchings from England in 1848 with a denim-covered 
blank notebook. Reaching New York and traveling on to 
New Orleans, he heard of the gold discovery and joined a 
wagon train to "seek the elephant." All of the hazards, 
hardships, humor, accounts of good days and bad, includ- 
ing an encounter with vigilante justice in Placerville, were 
faithfully and colorfully set down by this latter-day Bos- 
well. The journals of his trans-Atlantic voyage and trans- 
continental trek were documented by Ms. Sargent from 
the originals given to the Library of Congress in 1945 by 
Hutchings' daughter. 

The Journal includes a list of all the graves passed along 
the trail, an excellent historical introduction, three letters 
from the mines, two illustrations, annotations, and an 
index. The volume is handsomely produced in a limited 

Two gaps have been well-filled by Eugene Coan's biog- 
raphy ofJ.G. Cooper and Evelyn Chase's biography of 
G. Bayley. 

Capt. James G. Cooper, M.D. (1830-1902), who named 
at least seven generic taxa and at least 77 species-level taxa, 
was a frustrated zoologist who made a living as a physician 
in Santa Cruz or Hayward or as a farmer in drought- 
wracked Saticoy. A sickly man most of his life, he first 
traveled west with the Railroad Expedition of 1853 and 
became a permanent Californian in i860. Traveling up and 
down and across the state, he made extensive collections 
for the California Academy of Sciences — from which 
many plants and animals were first named by the Smithso- 
nian's Spencer Baird or the British Museum's Philip Car- 
penter. With little access to literature or comparative ma- 
terial, Cooper prepared important early papers on the 
biogeography of California trees and fauna and published 
papers and books on the mollusks of western North 

Coan's work sprang from a desire to find information 
about Cooper's life while studying some of Cooper's col- 
lections at Berkeley. The book makes extensive use of his 
letters and manuscripts, allowing Cooper to tell his own 

story. The few illustrations are mainly drawings of ani- 
mals. Included are an extensive bibliography of works by 
and about Cooper and two appendices, which detail early 
errors in the literature about Cooper and examine his 
zoological taxa. The book should be of interest to both the 
general reader and the specialist. 

George Bayley was a naturalist, a mountaineer, a rock- 
climber, a geologist, a daredevil, an aesthete, an artist, and 
a writer. A companion ofjohn Muir and one of the charter 
members of the Sierra Club, he was the first person known 
to scale Yosemite's North Dome (1867), Mt. Starr King 
(1875) and Cathedral Peak (1878). He also scaled Mt. 
Rainier (1883). This transplanted Yankee found time to 
earn a living as a bookkeeper for Ralston's Bank of Cali- 
fornia, followed by a stint as a note-teller for the Bank of 
Nevada's San Francisco branch. Then he became a private 
capitalist, selling the Pacific Incubator from his poultry 
ranch in downtown Oakland. In 1892 he narrowly sur- 
vived a fall on his second climb of Mt. Rainier, only to be 
killed two years later at age 54 in an elevator accident. 

The author, Bayley's former granddaughter-in-law, 
has assembled a compact, well-illustrated biography, at 
least a third of it from Bayley's writings. Footnotes and 
eleven pages of bibliography will lead the interested reader 
to explore more deeply the life of this fascinating indi- 

Nonagencrian Frank Latta, having spent two-thirds of 
his life gathering material relative to Joaquin Murrieta, has 
recently published his findings with over 250 pictures, 
mainly of Murrieta relatives. Unfortunately, the book 
promises to fill gaps but doesn't. 

Latta apparently has found Murrieta's horse-stealing 
trail, from the Carquincz Straits to La Cienega, Sonora, 
via the Coast Range and the Antelope Valley, but he has 
not presented his account in readable fashion. It is replete 
with clumsy wording ("became of the opinion," p. 3), 
inconsistencies of translation ("El Famoso" on p. 12, but 
not "Tres Dedos" on p. 13), redundancies ("She was a 
sister of Joaquin Murrieta's mother and an aunt of . . . 
Joaquin Murrieta," p. 152), printing errors ("6000S," 


For many western women, even in 
the early twentieth century, life on 
the frontier meant performing the 
accustomed hack-breaking domestic 
chores without conveniences such as 
running water. Joseph L. Bocci 
Collection, Women of the West 
(Antelope Island Press, 1982) 

p. 153) and unsubstantiated claims ("Half of the Joaquin 
Murrietas ... in Alta California . . . could speak the 
English language better than three-fourths of the Gringos 
in Alta California," p. 183). Although disorganized, con- 
fusing, and poorly edited, the book is a good example of 
how to conduct primary research and gather a specialized 
library; as such, it is a potentially instructive text for 
history methodology classes. 

On the other hand, George Hildebrand's Borax Pioneer 
is the definitive biography of "Borax" Smith. Traveling to 
California in 1867, Smith (age nineteen), a transplanted 
Michigander, soon discovered borax in Nevada. He 
mined and shipped it to Oakland for refining. From this 
and the mines he bought from William T. Coleman, he 
created an international business and made a fortune. Later 
he diversified his interests into East Bay real estate, aided 
by his Key Route interurban trains and ferries, but he- 
overextended his finances and lost his $25 million fortune 
in 191 3 . He died eighteen years later, soon atter reentering 
the borax business and beginning to recoup his losses. The 
book, which begins with a history of borax, concludes 
with an interesting comparison and contrast of Smith with 
Collis Huntington and William Ralston. An important 
work of business history, the volume is beautifully printed 
and bound, nicely illustrated, and amply footnoted in the 
style to which Howell-North has accustomed us. 

Anyone who was surprised by the anti-Semitic tenor of 
California State Senator John Schmitz's remarks in De- 
cember 198 1 will see in Budd Westreich's work that 
Schmitz was not the first to take this tack. A far harsher 
tune was sounded by Assembly Speaker William Stow 
(1824-95), when in 1855 he introduced Blue Laws into the 
Legislature. He remarked at that time that their only oppo- 
nents were Jewish merchants, members of a race for 
whom he had "no sympathy . . . and was in favor of 
taxing. . . so they would leave the state." No reference to 
this matter seems to appear in the works of Bancroft, 

Caughey, Cleland, Tom Watkins or James Hart, and so 
any furor that the remarks created has probably been 
forgotten. Thanks to Mr. Westreich's miniscule — and 
poorly edited — book, we are reminded of California's 
occasional foray into anti-Semitism. 

Franklin Beard, great-great grandson-in-law of pioneer 
Charles Hopper, has completed the commendable task of 
compiling all of the available material on his wife's an- 
cestor. Hopper (1800-80) was a member of the first wagon 
train to reach California and led another party from the 
Midwest in 1847. He settled on Napa area land which was 
a gift from fellow Tarheeler George Yount. Beard uses 
accounts dealing with the Bidwell-Bartleson party, the 
1847 party, Bancroft, Sloan, and Bowen&Co.'s History of 
Napa and Lake Counties (1881) for his account. He repro- 
duced deeds, wills, manuscripts, maps, and Grange mem- 
bership certificates, as well as numerous photographs — 
including those of Hopper's descendants. The keepsake 
book is attractively printed and bound. 

To tell his story of Nevada County's Forty-niners, 
David Comstock used a methodology with which this 
reviewer was at first uncomfortable, then intrigued and 
absorbed in a well-researched, well-edited, well-presented 
history. Niles Searls, Charley Mulford, Tallman Rolfe 
and Chief Wema — scholar, lawyer, printer and native, 
respectively — are presented in very human terms in a 
book which reads like a novel but which is deeply loyal to 
the canons of history . The author not only utilizes records, 
newspapers, and diaries, he reproduces here for the first 
time the correspondence between Charles and Niles in 
California's Nevada County and their female cousins in 
New York, letters that are at once lively and touching. 
The stories of these men are set against a backdrop of 
frontier politics and journalism, Mormon schisms and 
migrations, and bloody Indian-white confrontations. The 
reviewer is puzzled that such an interesting addition to 
California history required self-publication. ^J^" 


California Check List 

By Bruce L.Johnson, 
Library Director 

The California Check List provides notice 
of publication of books, pamphlets, and 
monographs pertaining to the history of 
California. Readers knowing of recent 
publications, including reprints or revised 
editions, that need additional publicity are 
requested to send the following biblio- 
graphical information to the compiler for 
this list: Author, title, name and address 
of publisher, date of publication, number 
of pages, and price. 

Armstrong, Robert D. Nevada Printing 
History: A Bibliography of Imprints and 
Publications, 1858-1880. Reno: Univer- 
sity of Nevada Press, 1982. $35.00. 
Order from: University of Nevada 
Press; Reno, NV 89557. 

In this invaluable guide to Nevada's print- 
ing, printers, and history, the author traces 
the development of the industry from 
1858, when the first press was hauled over 
the mountains from California, to 1880, 
when the first State Printing Office was 
established. Nearly all of the 1,254 items 
included are annotated with details of their 
printing histories: who printed them, 
when, where, and at what cost. Arm- 
strong provides annual summaries of 
events affecting the printing trade in 
Nevada during this twenty-two year 
period, including controversies surround- 
ing public printing (most early Nevada 
public documents, for example, were ac- 
tually printed in California), the formation 
of typographical unions, and the migra- 
tion of presses from one mining camp to 

Brotherton, I.N. "Jack." The Annals of 
Stanislaus: River Towns and Ferries. Santa 
Cruz: Western Tanager Press, 1982. 
$22.95. Order from: Western Tanager 
Press, 1 1 1 1 Pacific Garden Mall, Santa 
Cruz, CA 95060. 

When gold fever swept California in the 
1 850s, most of the main routes to the 
southern Mother Lode were blocked by 
the three great rivers of Stanislaus County: 
the Tuolomne, the San Joaquin, and the 
Stanislaus. Responding to nature's chal- 
lenge, a hardy generation of men and 
women set up ferry crossings and landings 
along the three rivers to move miners, 
supplies, and livestock through the county 
and into the gold country. In The Annals of 
Stanislaus, the first comprehensive history 
of the county from the Gold Rush to the 
end of the nineteenth century. Jack Broth- 
erton describes in detail the trials and dedi- 
cation of these first pioneers. Each of the 
book's three parts is devoted to one of the 

major rivers and considers all the ferries, 
crossings, and landings on its banks. This 
volume, concentrating on river towns and 
ferries, is the first of a projected series that 
will relate the history of the entire county. 

California Tomorrow. California 2000: 
The Next Frontier. San Francisco: Cali- 
fornia Tomorrow, 1982. $5.00 (non- 
members). Order from: California To- 
morrow, 5 12 2nd Street, San Francisco, 
CA 94105. 
California Tomorrow is a publically sup- 
ported, nonprofit foundation established 
in 1961. In 1972 it published The California 
Tomorrow Plan , which advocated the use of 
statewide planning to achieve conservation 
and economic goals. The aim of the foun- 
dation's four-year California 2000 Project 
was to explore the remaining twenty years 
of the twentieth century, discern where the 
state is headed, and suggest ways in which 
the direction can be altered to achieve a 
better, more sustainable way of life for .ill 
Californians. California 2000: The Next 
Frontier is the thought-provoking final 
project report, written by CHS Trustee 
Richard Reinhardt. It is based on the re- 
sults of an extensive statewide research 
program and incorporates the insights 
yielded by six regional conferences during 
1980 and 198 1. In general the report argues 
that strong environmental regulations will 
continue to be essential to California's 
long-term productivity and to the quality 
of life for all Californians. Contrary to 
recent political campaign rhetoric, sound 
environmental practices benefit the state's 
economy in every policy area — land use 
and water use. as well as energy, popula- 
tion, and social policy. 

Dunning, Harrison C. Water Allocation in 
California: Legal Rights and Reform Needs 
Berkeley: Institute of Governmental 
Studies, 1982. IGS Research Paper 1982. 
S4.50; checks payable to the Regents of 
the University of California. Order 
from: Institute of Governmental 
Studies. 119 Moses Hall, University of 
California: Berkeley, C A 94720. 


California History 

Water allocation, consumption, and con- 
servation are pressing issues in California 
politics. The author examines legal aspects 
of water rights and allocation, giving legal 
perspective on the way the state's water is 
managed. He also underscores the need for 
political consensus on water law reform. 
The paper bases some lessons for Califor- 
nia on recent experience in Arizona where 
the untenability of further water projects 
forced major policy reform. Dunning be- 
lieves the situation in California, where 
various groups are deadlocked on water 
policy change, could also show dramatic 

Earl Warren Oral Histor)> Project. 53 vol- 
umes. Berkeley: Regional Oral History 
Office, 1969-1982. Available at cost for 
deposit in noncirculating collections. 
Contact: Regional Oral History Office, 
Room 486, The Bancroft Library, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley, CA 

Fifty-three bound volumes of oral history 
interviews with significant persons in Cali- 
fornia's Earl Warren Era, 1925-1953, have 
been completed by the Regional Oral His- 
tory Office. The final volume focuses on 
Earl Warren himself — the former district 
attorney, state attorney general, three- 
term governor, and United States Chief 
Justice. The project, which required thir- 
teen years to complete, has produced oral 
histories with 149 key persons. They in- 
clude 121 heads of government depart- 
ments, assistants to the governor, legis- 
lators, leaders of political parties and fac- 
tions, and 28 personal friends and family 
members. It is the first time that a state's 
past has been systematically documented 
for archives with oral history interviews. 

Engstrand, Iris H.W. Sena's San Diego: 
Father Junipero Serra and California's Be- 
ginnings. San Diego: San Diego Histori- 
cal Society, 1982. $2.95 (paper). Order 
from: San Diego Historical Society, 
Museum of San Diego History, Post 
Office Box 81825, San Diego, CA 

In slightly more than 200 years, European 
settlement has transformed San Diego 
from a region sparsely populated by 
Indians to an expanding urban metropolis. 
On July 16, 1769, Father Junipero Serra, a 
Spanish missionary, planted a cross on 
today's Presidio Hill and founded Mission 
San Diego de Alcala. Engstrand's Sena's 
San Diego, which includes twenty-two 
sepia illustrations, gathers together in con- 
cise, readable form information regarding 
California's best known Franciscan mis- 
sionary and the role he played in the de- 
velopment of early Spanish San Diego, 
including Serra's Mallorcan beginnings, 
travels in Mexico, the founding of San 
Diego, the role of the San Diego Presidio 
and Mission, and Serra's later years. She 
also considers the establishment of the 
Junipero Serra Museum in 1929 and pres- 
ent-day archaeological excavations at the 
San Diego Presidio. 

Hudson, Travis, and Thomas C. Black- 
burn. The Material Culture of the 
Chumash Interaction Sphere, Volume 1: 
Food Procurement and Transportation. Los 
Altos: Ballena Press, 1982. $19.95 
(paper); $34.95 (cloth). Ballena Press 
Anthropological Papers No. 25. A co- 
operative publication of Ballena Press 
and the Santa Barbara Museum of 
Natural History. Order from: Ballena 
Press, 381 First Street, Los Altos, CA 
In the late nineteenth century, collectors 
gathered from archaeological sites on the 
Santa Barbara coast and off-shore islands 
literally tons of artifacts made by the 
Chumash Indians of Southern California. 
These artifacts ended up in a number of the 
world's great museums, as well as in the 
hands of private collectors. Some of the 
more aesthetic pieces were displayed — 
and had a significant effect on the develop- 
ment of twentieth-century art — but most 
were to remain virtually forgotten for 
many years. This monograph is the first in 
a five-volume series by the two scholars 
primarily responsible for the resurgence of 
interest in the Chumash. The scries will 

describe and illustrate virtually every 
material object used by the Chumash and 
their neighbors, the Kitanemuk and 
Gabrielino, and includes a tremendous 
quantity of unpublished ethnographic data 
gathered during the early twentieth cen- 
tury by John Peabody Harrington of the 
Smithsonian Institution and other schol- 
ars. The authors have searched out speci- 
mens associated with hunting, fishing, 
gathering, and transportation — from nets, 
traps, harpoons, and burden baskets to 
cradleboards and the famous Chumash 
plank canoes — from more than forty mu- 
seums and private collections world-wide 
as examples to illustrate their work. 

Nowinski, Ira (photographer), and Joan 
Chatfield-Taylor (writer). Backstage at 
the Opera: An Insider's Look at the Grand- 
est of Performing Arts. San Francisco: 
Chronicle Books, 1982. $12.95 (p a P er )- 
Order from: Chronicle Books, 870 
Market Street, San Francisco, CA 

Backstage at the Opera takes one on a re- 
markable tour through the cavernous cata- 
combs and backstage cubicles of a major 
opera house to explore the creative mael- 
strom that forges together a major opera 
production. One meets the great im- 
presarios, the famous directors, the 
world's most illustrious performers, the 
set designers, the costumers and make-up 
artists, the choreographers and musicians, 
and a veritable army of technical and ar- 
tistic support people, all merging their 
myriad talents to create the grandest and 
most magical of dramatic illusion: Grand 
Opera. More than 100 remarkable photo- 
graphs by noted opera photographer Ira 
Nowinski combine with a highly readable 
text to create an intimate portrait of the 
usually impregnable sanctum sanctorum 
of backstage life at the opera. 

Perry, Frank. Lighthouse Point: Reflections 
on Monterey Bay History. Soquel: GBH 
Publishing, 1982. $5.95. Order from: 
GBH Publishing, Post Office Box 762, 
Soquel, CA 95073. 


Check List 

For well over a century, lighthouses have 
guided mariners across northern Monterey 
Bay on the central California coast. Light- 
house Point traces the fascinating history of 
the beacons located at Lighthouse Point in 
Santa Cruz. Frank Perry relates the story of 
a lighthouse keeper who came to Califor- 
nia via wagon train in 1846, a lighthouse 
that was moved to keep it from falling into 
the ocean , a bizarre battle over land owner- 
ship that delayed lighthouse construction 
for fifteen years, a seaside naturalist who 
started a museum in the lighthouse where 
she was keeper for thirty-three years, and 
the story of the West Coast's only active 
lighthouse that was privately built. Mr. 
Perry's reflections are told from the per- 
spective of America's lighthouse system as 
a whole and Monterey Bay's changing role 
as a seaport. 

Reed, Adele. Old Mammoth, edited by 
Genny Smith. Palo Alto: Genny Smith 
Books, 1982. Distributed by William 
Kaufmann, Inc. $14.50 (paper); S23.50 
(cloth). Order from: William Kauf- 
mann, Inc., 95 First Street, Los Altos, 
CA 94022. 

This finely produced book captures the 
boom-time beginnings of a small Cali- 
fornia mountain village and traces its his- 
tory, with first-hand accounts and more 
than 150 vintage photographs, through 
almost a century of change. The photo- 
graphs included in Old Mammoth are par- 
ticularly impressive, including the work of 
four men who began their work in the 
eastern Sierra during the early twentieth 
century — A. A. Forbes (1902), H.W. 
Mendenhall (about 1910), Burton Frasher 
(early 1920s), and Stephen Willard (1923). 
They visually document mining camps, 
wagon roads and pack trains, street scenes, 
mining operations, and panoramic views 
of one of California's most beautiful areas. 

Reiterman, Tim, with John Jacobs. Raven: 
The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and 
His People. New York: E.P. Dutton; 
1982. $17.95. Order from: E.P. Dutton, 
2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016. 

Author Tim Reiterman was a member of 
Congressman Leo Ryan's ill-fated fact- 
finding mission to Jonestown, Guyana, in 
1978. Now a reporter for the San Francisco 
Examiner, he and fellow reporter John 
Jacobs have produced a remarkable ac- 
count of the Rev. Jim Jones, his Peoples 
Temple, and events culminating in the 
incredible mass suicide five years ago. 
Based on more than 800 interviews and 
other sources, Reiterman and Jacobs offer 
an absorbing narrative that attempts to 
explain an irrational man's appeal to other- 
wise rational people. Perhaps the most 
startling revelation is that Jones's madness 
was present from his Indiana childhood, 
where he learned to con, to be winning, 
and to manipulate through kindness and 
cruelty. His finely honed skills at persua- 
sion were put to masterful use in building 
his healing ministry during the 1970s and 
in leading 913 of his followers in an act of 
"unspeakable evil and waste." 

Zucker, LynneG. California's Proposition 
ly. Early Impact on Education and Health 
Services. Berkeley: Institute of Govern- 
mental Studies, 1982. California Policy 
Seminar Monograph Number 15. 
$4.00. Order from: Institute of Govern- 
mental Studies, 119 Moses Hall, Uni- 
versity of California, Berkeley, CA 
Looking at the impact on education and 
health services of Proposition 13 — and 
subsequent state "bailouts" — Zucker 
shows how changes at lower governmen- 
tal levels are limited by upper-level prior- 
ities. Thus an unintended consequence of 
Proposition 13 was increased local depen- 
dence on the state and federal govern- 
ments. The author also challenges policy- 
makers to consider the need for uniform 
service delivery in all California counties 
and to decide what services are central to 
the well-being of state residents. 

Other Books Noted 

Bliss, Carey S. Autos Across America: A 
Bibliography of Transcontinental Automo- 

bile Travel, tgoj-ig^o. Revised Edition. 
Austin: Jenkins Publishing Company, 
1982. $19.50. Order from: Jenkins Pub- 
lishing Company, Box 2085, Austin, 
TX 78768. 

Boyd, W. Harland,John Ludeke, and 
Marje Rump. Inside Historic Kern. 
Bakcrsfield: Kern County Historical So- 
ciety, 1982. $13.00. Order from: Kern 
County Historical Society, Post Office 
Box 141, Bakersfield, CA 93302. 

Bright, Marjorie Belle. Nellie's Boarding- 
house: A Dual Biography of Nellie Coffman 
and Palm Springs. Palm Springs: ETC 
Publications, 1981. $12.95. Order from: 
ETC Publications, Drawer 1627-A, 
Palm Springs, CA 92262. 

California Institute of Public Affairs. Trade 
and Professional Associations in California: 
A Directory. Second edition. Claremont: 
California Institute of Public Affairs, 

1982. $20.00. Order from: California 
Institute of Public Affairs, Post Office 
Box 10, Claremont, CA 9171 1 . 

Cinel, Dino. From Italy to San Francisco: 
The Immigrant Experience. Stanford: 
Stanford University Press, 1982. $25.00. 
Order from: Stanford University Press, 
Stanford, CA 94305. 

Flamini, Roland. Ava [Gardner]. New 
York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 

1983. $14.95. Order from: Coward, 
McCann & Geoghegan, 1050 W. Wall 
Street, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071. 

Franzwa, Gregory M. Maps of the Oregon 
Trail. Gerald: The Patrice Press. 1982. 
$24.95. Order from: The Patrice Press. 
Box 42, Gerald, MO 63037. 

Hanson, Robert F. Russ Kingman-Jack 
London Collector. Venue: Opuscula 
Press, 1627 BobO'Link Drive. Venice. 
FL 33595- 

Hard, Louise Fulton. The Red House on the 
Hill [a personal account of an early 
twentieth-century childhood in rural 
Southern California]. Illustrated by 


California History 

Helen Tillcy. Escondido: Omni Pub— 
lishers, 1982. $5.95. Order from: Omni 
Publishers, 218 F.. Grand Avenue, No. 
201, Escondido, CA 92025. 

Harper, John I . Mineral King: Public Con- 
cern with Government Policy. Areata: Pa- 
cific Publishing Co., 1982. $9.25. Order 
from: John L. Harper, Areata, CA 

Johnson, Arlinc, Florence Lindsay, and 
William Pierce. Johnson Family Letters, 
igoyigo6. Transcribed and annotated 
by Kay Clegg. Santa Cruz: Kay Clegg, 
1982. S12.50. Order from: Kay Clegg, 
1736 Kawana Springs Road, Santa Cruz, 
CA 95404. 

Kimbell, Larry, and David Shulman. 
Growth in California: Prospects and Conse- 
quences. California Policy Seminar Final 
Report No. 1. Berkeley: Institute of 
Governmental Studies, 1981. S3. 75. Or- 
der from: Institute of Governmental 
Studies, 1 19 Moses Hall, University of 
California, Berkeley, CA 94720. 

Ludwig, Edward W. Gumshan: the Chi- 
nese-American Saga. Illustrated by Jack 
Loo. Los Gatos: Polaris Press, 1982. 
$2. 95 (paper). Order from: Polaris 
Press, 16540 Camellia Terrace, Los 
Gatos, CA 95030. 

Macintosh, G. (ed.) Oranges and Snow- 
fields: Southern California at the Turn of the 
Century. Santa Barbara: Ross-Erikson, 
1982. S3. 95 (paper). Order from: Ross- 
Erikson, 629 State Street, Suite 207, 
Santa Barbara, CA 93 101 . 

Pomada, Elizabeth. Places to Go with Chil- 
dren in Northern California. San Fran- 
cisco: Chronicle Books, 1980. S5.95 
(paper). Order from: Chronicle Books, 
870 Market Street, Suite 915, San Fran- 
cisco, CA 94102. 

Redwood Genealogical Society. Some 
Deaths and Burials in Humboldt County, 
California, 1852-^05. Fortuna: Red- 
wood Genealogical Society, 1981. Or- 

der from: Redwood Genealogical Soci- 
ety, Post Office Box 645, Fortuna, CA 

Roberts, Lois W. Anacapa Island. Santa 
Barbara: McNally & Loftin, 1982. 
$6.50. Order from: McNally & Loftin, 
Publishers, Post Office Box 13 16, Santa 
Barbara, Ca 93102. 

Sacramento Bee . The Sting of the Bee [edito- 
rial cartoons published since 1857]. 
Book designed by Adrian Wilson. Sac- 
ramento: Sacramento Bee, 1982. $33.42 
(includes tax, postage, and handling). 
Order from: Sacramento Bee, Public 
Relations Department, 21st & O, Sac- 
ramento, CA 95813 . 

San Diego Historical Society. Balboa Park 
Expositions, igiyigj6: The Magic City ; a 
Book of Days [calendar]. San Diego: San 
Diego Historical Society, 1982. $8.95 
(54 sepia plates) . Order from: San Diego 
Historical Society, Museum of San 
Diego History, Post Office Box 81825, 
San Diego, CA 92138. 

Sanborn, Margaret, Yosemite: Its Discov- 
ery, Its Wonders and Its People. New 
York: Random House, 1981. $17.50. 
Order from: Random House, Inc., 400 
Hahn Road, Westminster, ML) 21 157. 

Shangle, Robert D. Beautiful Monterey Pen- 
insula and Big Stir. Text by Brian Berger. 
Beaverton: Beautiful America Publish- 
ing Co., 1980. $6.95 (paper). Order 
from: Beautiful America Publishing 
Company, Post Office Box 608, Beaver- 
ton, OR 97075. 

Beautiful Orange County. 

Text by Paul M. Lewis. Beaverton: 
Beautiful America Publishing Co., 
1980. $7.95 (paper). 

Shelton, Lawrence P. California Gunsmiths 
1846-1 goo. Fair Oaks: Far Far West Pub- 
lishers, 1982. S29.65. Order from: Far 
Far West Publishers, Post Office Box 
171, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. 

Shipman, Elmore E. Old California: the 
Missions, Ranchos, Romantic Adobes. Il- 
lustrated by Shirley Richards. Los An- 
geles: Camaro Publishing Co., 1980. 
S4.95. Order from: Camaro Publishing 
Company, Worldway Postal Station, 
Post Office Box 90430, Los Angeles, CA 

Smith, Gail Vinje, and William A. Allen. 
The Picture History of Balboa Island, igo6- 
ig8i: A Celebration of the Diamond Jubi- 
lee. Newport Beach: Balboa Island Heri- 
tage/Galliard Press, 1981. Order from: 
Galliard Press, Post Office Box 296, 
Claremont, CA 9171 1 . 

Smith, Gloria, and Pat Cook (comps.) 
Marriages of Solano County, California, 
i85j-i8gj. Fairfield: Solano County 
Genealogical Society, 1982. Order 
from: Solano County Genealogical So- 
ciety, Post Office Box 2494, Fairfield, 
C A 94533. 

Steinheimer, Richard, and Don Sims. 
Growing Up with Trains: A Southern Cali- 
fornia Album. Glendale: Interurban 
Press, 1982. $16.95 (P a P er )- Order from: 
Interurban Press, Post Office Box 6444, 
Glendale, CA 91205. 

Taylor, Alexander S. Bibliografa Califor- 
nica. Originally published, 1863; re- 
printed. Sparks: Falcon Hill Press, 1982. 
S28.50 (xerographically produced type- 
script; comb binding). Order from: Fal- 
con Hill Press, Box 143 1; Sparks, NV 
8943 1 • 

Yu, Eui-Young, Earl H. Phillips, and Eun 
Sik Yank (eds.). Koreans in Los Angeles: 
Prospects and Promises. Los Angeles: 
Koryo Research Institute, Center for 
Korean-American and Korean Studies, 
( alifornia State University, 1982. Or- 
der from: Koryo Research Institute, 
California State University, 5151 St.ite 
University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 





Bubble Dancer 





A Unique Book 

By mail: The California Historical Society 
2080 Jackson Street 
San Francisco, CA 94109 

Gray Dovn lindo Ronstodt Jacques Bar*oghi 

A collection of 550 of the best editorial cartoons 
published in The Sacramento Bee since 1857. 
The decade-by-decade presentation is proof that 
no president and few lesser politicians have 
escaped the point of the artist's pen. 
See again the Nixon years and Reagan's terms in 
Sacramento through the eyes of Cartoonist 
Newton Pratt. Relive the administrations of Jimmy 
Carter and Jerry Brown through the cartoons of 
Dennis Renault. 

A 125 year sweep of local, state, national and 
international history. 

Book designed by Adrian Wilson - 228 pages - hard cover 
California Historical Society members may pur- 
chase at the special price of $27.00 plus tax, 
postage and handling. 

Please send me 

Attached is my check of $ 

copies of THE STING OF THE BEE at $30.30 each. 

The price includes cost of the book, 
tax, postage and handling. 





Make checks payable to The California Historical Society. 

L. J 


After the Gold Rush 

Society in Grass Valley and 
Nevada City, California, 1849-1870 

Stanford University Press 

This is a social history of California's largest and 
richest gold towns from their chaotic founding to the 
industrialization of their mines. The two towns had 
different kinds of gold deposits and different mining 
operations that attracted populations vastly different 
in race and class. The book analyzes this changing 
and conflicting ethnic pattern (Yankee merchants, 
Irish and Cornish miners, black and Chinese labor- 
ers), traces the rise of the middle class and the devel- 
opment of family structures, and compares the towns 
to other American frontier settlements. $25.00 
Order from your bookstore, please 

California history brought to life! 



a novel by 
Robert Easton 

This major novel of California's roots dramatizes 
the clash of cultures, dreams and personalities 
that led to the colonization of California. We 
experience Chumash Indian life as never before, 
march with conquistadores, and gain new appre- 
ciation of such historical figures as Junipero 
Serra and Gaspar de Portola. 

"Why hasn't somebody written a novel like this 
before!" — Alan K. Brown 

Ohio State University 
translator of the Crespi Diary 

A stunning tour de force— 1 don't know of any other 
work, historical or imaginative, that so powerfully 
portrays the tragic impact of the invader on the 
native, yet is so sympathetic to both." 

— Lawrence Clark Powell 
author of California Classics 

"His re-creation of Portola's first march is in itself 
worth the book." —James D. Houston 

Los Angeles Times 
328 pages, softcover, $9.95 



P.O. BOX 2068, SANTA BARBARA 93120 



ybsemite Valley 

Oifon canvas, 54 x 36" 

Signed and dated in the lower (eft, 

T. Mitt, 1888 

Our last four major examples of 
California's foremost painter of 
the Jbsemite valley, have gone to 
pubtic and private collections in 
the 'Last and South. 'We impiore 
the collecting public to vjorfcwith 
us to f(eep this rare document of 
California culture here in our state. 

Qatteries Ltd. 

551 Sutter Street • San 'Jrancisco 

Need a convenient, good-looking 
way to store your copies of 
California History magazine? 

Handsome, functional binders are now available for your 
ongoing collection of the California Historical Society's 
quarterly magazine. Durably constructed, the binders 
have classic burgundy cloth covers imprinted with 
California History in gold ink. Each binder, which holds 
four issues, will be a valuable addition to your orderly 
bookshelf. Protecting your copies of California History 
from wear and soil, the easy-to-load binders are convenient for quick reference or browsing 
through back issues. Binder size is g X n X 2 inches. CHS is offering these binders to 
members at an affordable price of $6.50. An excellent value! 

Send $6.50 for each binder, 6% or6V2% tax (as applicable), plus postage and handling ($1.50 first binder and 50^ 
each additional binder) with your name and address to Book Department, CHS, 209ojackson Street. San Francisco 
94109. MastcrCharge/VISA Card orders also accepted. 

Coming Through: 
A Wells Fargo Tradition. 

A rare combination of personal effort 
and banking innovation built Wells Fargo 

And Wells Fargo has been helping the 
West grow since 1852. 

Today in California, across the continent 
and around the world, Wells Fargo is still 
coming through. 

Wells Fargo Bank 

CHS Register of Historic California Businesses 

The California Historical Society recognizes the following centennial businesses for their support of the new Register of 
Historic California Businesses. The Register program seeks to preserve and promote the state's business and economic 
history and to provide special recognition for businesses that have existed in California for over one hundred years. 


Chevron USA, Inc., San Francisco 
Foremost-McKesson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company, 

San Francisco 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation, 

Los Angeles 


Homestake Mining Co. San Francisco 


Barker Bros., Los Angeles 
Guittard Chocolate Company, 

Halstead-N. Gray, San Francisco 
McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 
Sherman & Clay Co., San Bruno 


Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco 
Ducommun, Incorporated, Los Angeles 
Gensler-Lee Diamonds, San Francisco 
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, 

San Francisco 
Haas Brothers, San Francisco 
MJB Coffee, San Francisco 
Patrick & Co., San Francisco 

CHS Donors 

The California Historical Society gratefully acknowledges all contributions. Gifts to the Society may include cash, 
securities, gifts to the collections, real estate, life insurance, services and other in-kind gifts, memorial gitts, and bequests. 
Listed below are individuals, foundations, corporations and public agencies whose contributions to CHS are valued at 
$1000 and above. We extend our appreciation to these donors. 

MAJOR — $5000 and above 

Mrs. Alysse W. Allen, San Francisco 

Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 

Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr., San Marino 

Mr. & Mrs. RobertJ. Banning, Pasadena 

Mr. & Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 

Braun Foundation, Pasadena 

The Broadway Department Stores, 

Los Angeles 
The Callison Foundation, Pacifica 
Mr. & Mrs. Joesph K. Cannell, Pasadena 
Chevron USA, Inc., San Francisco 
The S.H. Cowell Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. J. Hewes Crispin, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. George Ditz, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. Frederick H. Duhring, 

Los Altos Hills 
Josephine Elmore, San Francisco 
Dr. Ludwig A. Emge, Grass Valley 
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Foremost-McKesson Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. George D. Gavin, San Francisco 
Mr. Joe Gobert, Brisbane- 
Mrs. William Grant, Honolulu 
Mr. & Mrs. Ivan B. Hart, Piedmont 

William Randolph Hearst Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Mr. Clarence E. Heller, Atherton 
Mr. & Mrs. George H. Hendricks, 

Mr. & Mrs. Louis C. Hendricks, 

San Francisco 
Helen and George High, San Bruno 
Homestake Mining Co., San Francisco 
Mr. Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
The James Irvine Foundation, 

San Francisco 
The William G. Irwin Charity 

Foundation, San Francisco 
Elizabeth Bixbyjaneway, Santa Barbara 
Mr. John E. Keller, Lafayette 
Dr. Oscar Lemer, San Francisco 
Mr. Henry F. Lippitt II, Los Angeles 
Livingston Bros., San Francisco 
Mrs. Maurice Machris, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Virginia Morcll, Menlo Park 
Dan Murphy Foundation, Los Angeles 
Mr. Graham Nash, Pasadena 
National Endowment for the Arts 
National Endowment for the Humanities 
National Historical Publications <S, 

Records Commission 
Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. . 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Joseph Paul, Ross 

Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
Estate of Hannah E. Praxl, 

San Francisco 
Mr. William Roth, San Francisco 
San Francisco Foundation 
Security Pacific Charitable Foundation. 

Los Angeles 
Albert Shumate, M.D., San Francisco 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
State Office of Historic Preservation, 

Mr. & Mrs. Norman B. Terry II. 

Los Angeles 
Ticor, Los Angeles 
Travel Dynamics, Inc., New York 
Union Pacific Foundation. 

New York City- 
Mrs. Dorothy Wiles, Redding 

SUPPORTING — S1000-S4999 
Ampex Corporation, Redwood ( itv 
The Annenberg Fund, Inc.. Beverly Hills 
Architectural Resources Group. 

San Francisco 
Atlantic Richfield Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Dr. Joseph A. B.urd. |r . S.m Francisco 
Florence M Baker. Portola Valley 
The R. C. Baker Foundation. Orange 
Barker Bros , I os Angeles 


Mr. & Mrs. Henry Bettman, Burlingame 
Mrs. ( i.ul Roy Bivans, Glendale 
Mrs fames S. Black, Jr., Hillsborough 
The fames G. Boswell Foundation, 

1 os Angeles 
Mr. Walter Braun, Beverly Hills 
Mr. c\ Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, Los Angeles 
Mrs Ernest A. Bryant III, Laguna Beach 
Estate of Mr. Royal Robert Bush, 

Santa Barbara 
1 )r. & Mrs. Richard Call, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bumngton Carter, 

Mr. Cordon B. Crary, Los Angeles 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Crowley Foundation, San Francisco 
Crowley Maritime Corp., San Francisco 
Cunard Line Ltd., New York 
Helen Baker Currie, Portola Valley 
Delta Queen Steamboat Co, Cincinnati 
Delta Steamship Lines, Inc., San Francisco 
Mr. Penn De Roche, Oakland 
Mrs. Lewis T. Dobbins, Berkeley 
Mrs. Virginia Woods Fallon, Santa Rosa 
Mrs. Joseph C. Fennelly, San Francisco 
Estate of Adrienne S. Fuller, Hillsborough 
Gauger, Sparks, Silva, Inc., San Francisco 
General Electric Company, Campbell 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Gerald Gray, Lafayette 
Guittard Chocolate Co., Burlingame 

Mr. & Mrs. (icorgcN. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
I lalstead-N. (Jray, San Francisco 
Dorothea H. Harding, Berkeley 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Hartley, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Louis H. Heilbron, 

San Francisco 
Hilton Hotels Corp., Beverly Hills 
Mr. cV Mrs. Harry Holmes, Pebble Beach 
Mr. George Hornstein, San Francisco 
Hotchkis Foundation, Los Angeles 
Hyatt on Union Square, San Francisco 
Mrs. Douglas Johnson, Belvedere 
Kawaguchi-Kihara Memorial Foundation, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, San Jose 
Mr. & Mrs. Ernest A. Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 
Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation, Beverly Hills 
Loomis-Sayles & Co., San Francisco 
Ignacio E. Lozano,Jr., Los Angeles 
McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento 
Mr. & Mrs. Edward A. McDevitt, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Milbank McFie, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Edgar N. Meakin, Hillsborough 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Moore, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Dr. Wallace E. Moore, Jr., 

San Antonio, Texas 
Mr. Lee Morris, Medford, Oregon 
Mr. & Mrs. David H. Murdock, 

Beverly Hills 

National Trust for I listoric Preservation 
Mrs. V. Aubrey Neasham, Hillsborough 
Mr. Greg Nelson, Reno 
Mr. Harry L. Nickerson, Castro Valley 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogden, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Otter, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. David Packard, Los Altos 
Mrs. Edwin Pauley, Beverly Hills 
Louis & Flori Petri Foundation, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Edith Lamm Piness, Claremont 
Mr. Thomas V. Reeve II, Villa Park 
Dr. & Mrs. John Dowling Relfe, 

San Francisco 
Jane Anne Rey, Tiburon 
Mr. Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Sherman & Clay Co., San Bruno 
Mr. & Mrs. Frank Simpson III, Pasadena 
Harry G. Steele Foundation, 

Newport Beach 
Mrs. D. Daniel Stuart, Camarillo 
Mr. & Mrs. Hart H. Tantau, San Francisco 
Estate of Madeline Tibbe, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. R. Lockwood Tower, 

San Francisco 
Dr. and Mrs. Stanley R. Truman, Oakland 
Mr. Daniel G. Volkmann,Jr., 

San Francisco 
The Waste Family Fund, San Francisco 
Mrs. Warren B. Williamson, Pasadena 

CHS Members 

The California Historical Society is grateful for the annual support of over 8000 members nationwide. We offer our 
special thanks to those individuals, foundations, and corporations listed below whose exemplary annual membership 
gifts help ensure the continuing vitality of the Society's collections, publications and educational activities. 

Individual Members 


S1000& above 

Mr. North Baker, San Francisco 
Mrs. Hancock Banning, Jr., San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. RobertJ. Banning, Pasadena 
Miss Beda Berg, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. WilliamJ. Bettingen, 

Beverly Hills 
Mr. & Mrs. Johnson S. Bogart, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Dix Boring, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert L. Bridges, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Ernest A. Bryant III, Laguna Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph K. Cannell, Pasadena 
Mr. Robert H. Carpenter, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Henry Cartan, Atherton 

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Burlington Carter, 

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Clarke, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. J. Hewes Crispin, 

Santa Barbara 
Lady Ruth Crocker, San Marino 
Mrs. Ralph K. Davies, Woodside 
Mr. & Mrs. George Ditz, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. Dewey Donnell, Sonoma 
Mr. & Mrs. Fred S. Farr, Carmel 
Mr. & Mrs. David Fleishhacker, 

San Francisco 
Mr. James R. Galbraith, Beverly Hills 
Mr. & Mrs. George N. Hale, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. James R. Harvey, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Louis H. Heilbron, 

San Francisco 

Mr. Clarence E. Heller, Atherton 
Mr. & Mrs. A.F. Hogland, San Francisco 
Mr. Preston Hotchkis, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Warren R. Howell, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. David Huntington, 

Glenbrook, Nevada 
Mrs. Gladys Q. Knapp, Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. LeRoy F. Krusi, WalnutCreek 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Kuhn, San Jose 
Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Allen Lewis, 

Lake Wildwood 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Livermore, Danville 
Mrs. Western Logan, Oakland 
Mrs. Maurice A. Machris, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Edgar N. Meakin, Hillsborough 
Drs. Knox & Carlotta Mellon, 

Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence V. Metcalf, 

San Francisco 


Mr. & Mrs. James S. Miller, Geyserville 
Mr. & Mrs. Joseph A. Moore, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. Charles E. Noble, San Francisco 
Mrs. Lionel E. Ogden, Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Otter, Belvedere 
Mr. & Mrs. David Packard, 

Los Altos Hills 
Miss Mary E. Pike, Santa Monica 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Pike, San Marino 
Dr. Edith Lamm Piness, Claremont 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert H. Power, Nut Tree 
Dr. & Mrs. John Dowling Relfe, 

San Francisco 
Mr. William Roth, San Francisco 
Mr. Porter Sesnon, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. W. J. Shirley, Pasadena 
Dr. Albert Shumate, San Francisco 
Dr. Carey Stanton, Santa Cruz Island 
Mr. & Mrs. D. Daniel Stuart, Camarillo 
Mr. & Mrs. Hart H. Tantau, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Norman B. Terry II, 

Los Angeles 
Mr. & Mrs. Lockwood Tower, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Paul L. Wattis, San Francisco 
Mrs. Alice Whitson, Willow Creek 
Mrs. Nick B. Williams, South Laguna 


S 500-999 

Mr. & Mrs. Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. John A. Blume, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas W. Chinn, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Guy C. Earl, Jr., 

Warner Springs 
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Devoe Field, 

San Francisco 
Dr. Harvey Glasser, San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Greene, Los Angeles 
Mr. Alfred Harrison, Berkeley 
Ms. Leslie D.Jaffe, Sausalito 
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas H. May, Oakville 
Mr. & Mrs. Robert P. Miller, Jr. , Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Remi A. Nadeau, San Jose 
Dr. Ynez O'Neill, Los Angeles 
Bryce Rhodes, Santa Cruz 
Mr. & Mrs. Laurence Robertson, 

Beverly Hills 
Mr. Rodney W. Rood, Los Angeles 
Ms. Clyde P. Mead Smith, 

Newport Beach 
Mr. Warren D. Sorrells, 

Fort Worth, Texas 
Mrs. Calvin Townsend, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Walter G. Warren, Los Gatos 
Mrs. Helen Woodward, Los Angeles 


Mr. Jack Adams, Los Angeles 
Edward C. Allred, Los Angeles 
Alice O'Neill Avery, Los Angeles 
Mr. Kahn Balin, San Francisco 
Mr. George Hugh Banning, Lajolla 
Mrs. Walter C. Bateman.Jr., Pasadena 
Dr. & Mrs. James Benedict, San Pedro 
Mr. James R. Bronkcma, San Francisco 
Mrs. Donohoe Carter, Gilroy 
Mr. & Mrs. Sherman Chickering, 

San Francisco 
Mr. James C. Clark, Jr., San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. William Clayton, Jr., 

San Marino 
Mr. &. Mrs. Henry Sutcliffe Coe, San Jose 
Mr. & Mrs. Steven Conner, El Cajon 
Mr. & Mrs. David Cookson, 

Mr. Newton A. Cope, San Francisco 
Mrs. Chester R. F. Cramer, Greenbrae 
Mr. Michael Cullivan, Alameda 
Mr. Burnham Enersen, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Edward R. Evans, 

San Marino 
Mr. Karl E. Feichtmeir, Federal Way, 

Dr. & Mrs. William R. Fielder, Atherton 
Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker,Jr., 

San Francisco 
Mr. Alfred Fromm, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Winston R. Fuller, Pasadena 
Dr. & Mrs. John R. Gamble, San Francisco 
Frank L. Gerbode, M. D., San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Richard N. Goldman, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Peter E. Haas, San Francisco 
Mr. Raymond T. Haas, San Rafael 
Mrs. George Fiske Hammond, 

Santa Barbara 
Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Heimbuchcr, 

Mrs. Elise Higgins, Mountain View 
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Holmes, Pebble Beach 
Mr. & Mrs. Robin Hood, Aptos 
Mr. Preston B. Hotchkis, San Marino 
Mr. & Mrs. Steven Huss, San Carlos 
Mr. & Mrs. George D. Jagels, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. G. F. Jewett, Jr., Ross 
Mrs. F. A. Jostes, San Francisco 
Dr. & Mrs. Hamilton Kelly, San Marino 
Mr. Oscar T. Lawler, Los Angeles 
Mrs. Jane Luthard, Los Altos 
Mr. Peter McFarland, Mill Valley 
Mr. & Mrs. Donald McNcar, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Lewis McVey, Moraga 
Mr. & Mrs. John F. Merriam, 

San Francisco 
Mrs. Bruce E. Michael, Woodside 
Mr. Robert Folger Miller, Hillsborough 
Mrs. John Mock, Los Angeles 

Mrs. V. Aubrey Neasham, Hillsborough 
Mrs. Charles E. Osthimer III, 

San Francisco 
Ms. Ann Pearson, San Francisco 
Mr. Clair L. Peck, Jr. Los Angeles 
Dr. & Mrs. Donald Priewe, Danville 
Win Woodward Rhodes, Corona del Mar 
Mrs. Alfred Riccomi, San Francisco 
Mr. William Robbins, Jr., Santa Barbara 
Mrs. Walter Schilling, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. EarlF. Schmidt, Jr., Palo Alto 
Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Schneider, 

San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Shurtleff, 

San Francisco 
W. L. Simmons, Napa 
Mr. cV Mrs. Frank Simpson III, Pasadena 
Mr. David P. Smith, Berkeley 
Roger W. Souza, Suisun 
Mrs. Keith Spalding, Pasadena 
Mr. & Mrs. Irving Stahl, San Francisco 
Mrs. Ellis M. Stephens, Ross 
Mr. William D. Swanson, Oakland 
Ms. Kathryn E. Taylor, San Francisco 
Mr. Waller Taylor II, Los Angeles 
Mrs. A. Teichert, Jr., Sacramento 
Mrs. Joseph Thompson, San Francisco 
Mr. &' Mrs. Thomas Tilton, San Francisco 
Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Tone, Berkeley 
Mrs. Nancy L. Winton, San Francisco 
Mrs. Dean Witter, San Francisco 
Mr. Charles Wollenberg, Berkeley 
Mr. Edward G. Zelinsky, San Francisco 

Corporate Members 

PATRON — S5000-UP 

Atlantic Richfield Co., Los Angeles 
Ticor, Los Angeles 

AFFILIATE — $2500-4999 

Fluor Corporation, Irvine 

Times Mirror Foundation, Los Angeles 

CENTENNIAL — Siooo-2499 

Bechtel Power Corporation, San Francisco 
Bixby Ranch Company. Los Angeles 
The James G. Boswell Foundation. 

Los Angeles 
Crocker National Bank Foundation. 

San Francisco 
Foremost-Mc Kesson Foundation ln< . 

San Francisco 
( lilmore ( lompany, Los Angeles 
Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto 
Hilton Hotels Corp.. Beverly I (ills 
Matson Navigation. San Francisco 
McClatchy Newspapers. Sacramento 

Memorex ( lorp . Santa ( lar.i 

Moore Dry Dock Foundation. 
San Francisco 


New h. ill I and& Farming Co., Valencia 
Pacific 1 ighting C !orp., I os Angeles 
Pa< ific I ife Insurance, 

Newport Bea< h 
Security Pacifit Charitable Foundation, 

I lis Angeles 
Shaklee Corporation, San Francisco 
I ransamericaCorp., S.m Francisco 
Union C )il C o. of C alitonna Foundation, 

I os Angeles 

BENEFACTOR— $500-999 

The Bank of California, San Francisco 
Beaver Insurance Company, 

San Francisco 
Burnett & Sons, Sacramento 
Chevron, USA, Inc., San Francisco 
Ducommun, Inc., Los Angeles 
Holt Brothers, Stockton 
Industrial Indemnity Co., San Francisco 
International Business Machines, 

San Francisco 
Lane Publishing Company, Menlo Park 
Levi Strauss Foundation, San Francisco 
Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 

Los Angeles 
Ornck, Herrington, Rowley & Sutcliffe, 

San Francisco 
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Francisco 
The Pacific Lumber Co., San Francisco 

Pope& Talbot, Inc., San Francisco 

Sharlands Investment Corp., Oakland 

Sweco, Inc., Los Angeles 

Tubbs Cordage Co., San Francisco 

Union Bank, Sacramento 

U.S. Leasing Corporation, San Francisco 

United Vintners, Inc., San Francisco 

ASSOCIATE— $250-499 

Bankamerica Foundation, San Francisco 
Richard F. Bowen Co., San Francisco 
John Breuner Company, San Ramon 
California Federal, Los Angeles 
California First Bank, San Francisco 
Cocuzza Lenchner Foundation, 

San Francisco 
H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., San Bruno 
Crowley Maritime Corporation, 

San Francisco 
Deans & Homer, San Francisco 
Del Monte Corp., San Francisco 
Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco 
1st Nationwide Savings, San Francisco 
First Western Savings & Loan Association, 

Flax's, San Francisco 
Franklin Savings & Loan Association, 

San Francisco 
Fritz Companies, Inc., San Francisco 
Hexcel, San Francisco 

The I Iibemia Bank, San Francisco 

Hill & Co., San Francisco 

I .11 le M. Jorgensen Company, 

Los Angeles 
Joy of California, San Jose 
Kahn & Nippert Company, San Francisco 
KRON-TV, San Francisco 
Lawrence Engineering & Supply Inc., 

Marsh & McLennan, Inc. San Francisco 
Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco 
Nut Tree, Nut Tree 
Pacific Coast Holdings, Inc., 

San Francisco 
Phoenix Leasing, Inc., Mill Valley 
Plant Contractors, Inc., San Francisco 
Price Waterhouse & Co., Los Angeles 
RJB III Co., Sacramento 
San Francisco Commercial Club, 

San Francisco 
Southern Pacific Company, San Francisco 
Stauffer Chemical Co., San Francisco 
Sutro & Company, Inc., San Francisco 
Syntex Corporation, Inc., Palo Alto 
Tadich Grill, San Francisco 
Transit Casualty Company, Los Angeles 
Wells Fargo Foundation, San Francisco 
Woodwards Gardens Veterinary Hospital, 

San Francisco 
Yosemite Park & Curry Company, 

Yosemite National Park 


California History 

VOLUME LXI 1982-83 


Compiled by Marcella Genz 

California Historical Society 


California History 

Abel, Edson, 212, 214, 216 
Abel, Ralph, 218-219 
Abel, Stanley, 216, 218, 219 
\, rostic Sonnets and Other Poems, 

by J. E. O'Connor, 90 
Adams, Richard, 110-111 
Adams & Co.'s Express, 186 
Agassiz, Louis, 51 
Ah, Quoy, 296, 298 
Aleut Indians, 6 
Alturas Snowshoe Club, 280 
Alviso (1890-1891), 36-45 passim 
Anderson-Barngrower Manufacturing 

Company, 34 
American Civil Liberties Union, 215, 219, 

American Fruit Growers (Blue Goose), 33 
Arden, Sylvia, "The San Diego Historical 

Society Research Archives," 140-145 
Arlington Heights Fruit Co., 26 
Arpino, Gerald, 96 
"As I Came Down Mt. Tamalpais" 

(poem), by Clarence Urmy, 89 
Associated Farmers ofCalifornia, 212, 214, 

216, 218, 219, 220 
Atherton, Faxon Dean, 285-286 
Atherton, George, 285-286 
Atherton, Gertrude, 93, 94, 285, 286 
Atkins, Mary, 22, 23 
Atlas ofCalifornia, by Michael W. Donley, 

et al., rev., 68 
Austin, Ed, 296 
Austin, Mary, 286, 287 
Austin, Paul, 39 
Avery, Benjamin Parke, quoted, 97 

Backus, Joseph, 205, 206 

Bailey, Frederick, 172, 178, 179, 185, 186 

Bakersfield, 242-263 passim, 

photographs of 242-263 passim 
Ball, R., 123, 131 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 284, 289, 302-303 
Bandolier, Adolph, 288 
Bank of America, 212 
Baranov, Alexander, 6, 9 
Bartlett, Washington A., 302 
Bates, Craig D. and Frank LaPena, comp.. 

Legends of the Yosemite Miwok, rev., 150 

Baudelaire, Charles, 205 

Beals, Tim, 106, iio-m, 113, 115 

Beard, Estle and Lynwood Carranco, 

Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley 

Wars of Northern California, rev., 152 
Beard, Franklin, ed., Charles Hopper and 

the Pilgrims of the Pacific: A 1841 

California Pioneer, His Narrative and 

Other Documents, rev., 308 
Beardsley, Aubrey, 203, 206 
Beck, Warren A., rev. of Donley, Atlas of 

California, 68 
Becker, Robert H., The Plains and the 

Rockies: A Bibliography of Narratives of 

Exploration , Travel and Adventure, 

1800-1865, rev., 227 
Beerbohm, Max, 203 
Beloved Sister: The Letters of James Henry 

Gleason, 1841 to 185Q, comp. by Duncan 

and Dorothy Gleason, rev., 146 
Benicia Female Seminary, 22, 23 
Benner, Steve, 1 10 
Beraria, Fred, 123 
Berliner, Harold A., 114 
Berry, Joy, "California Check List," 72-75 
Bidwell, John, 23 

Bierce, Ambrose, 85, 89, 201, 204, 205 
Bierstadt, Albert, 201 
Billington, Ray Allen, 162 
Bird, Dr. (Byron Hot Springs, 1902), 297 
Blackburn, Thomas C, ed., December's 

Child: A Book ofChumash Oral 

Narratives, rev., 149-150 
Bloomer, Amelia, 19, 21, 23 
"Bloomerism Comes to California," by 

Marion Tinling, 18-25 
Bodega Bay, 6 
Bohemian Club, 87, 89, 94 
Bohemianism in San Francisco, 198, 

200-207 passim 
Book Banning, Grapes of Wrath in Kern 

County, 210-221 passim 
"Books Commemorating the Bicentennial 

of the Founding of Los Angeles," by 

Doyle B. Nunisjr., 58-67 
Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith, by 

George Hildebrand, rev., 308 
Boschke, Albert, 41, 42, 43, 44 
Bradley, Bill, comp., Commercial Los 

Angeles, IQ25-1Q47, rev., 64, 67 

Brewer, William H., quoted, 82:96 
Brooke, John Mercer, 264, 266, 267, 268, 

269, 273,274 
Brotherhood of Engineers, 215 
Brown, Edmund, Jr., 113, 114, 117 
Browne, J. Ross, 51 
Bruff, J. Goldsborough, 165 
Buchanan, James, 272 
Buffum, E. Gould, 38 
Burgess, Clinton, 208 
Burgess, Frank Gelett, 197-209 passim 
Burne-Jones, Edward, 198-199, 206 
Burton, Richard F., 23 
Butchers Union, 215 
Byron, 292-301 passim 
Byron, Lord, 86, 87, 88 
"The Byron Rail Disaster," byjacquelyn 

Mollenkopf, 292-301 

"California" (poem), by Ina Coolbnth, 8 
California Artists 1Q35 to ig$6, by Dewitt 

Clinton McCall III, rev., 69-71 
"California Check List," by Joy Berry, 

72-75; by Bruce L.Johnson, 153-157, 

229-232, 309-312 
California Citrus League, 33 
California Division of Highways, 191 
California Environmental Quality Act 

(1970), 102 
California Exchange, 20, 24 
California Farm Bureau Federation, 212, 

California Fruit Growers Exchange 

(Sunkist), 33 
California Highway Commission, 189 
California Iron Works, 29, 30 

Fruit distributor, 31, 33 

Fruit separator, 33 

Mechanical fruit sizer, 30-3 1 
California, Mediterranean-Spanish 

tradition, 286-287 
California State Board of Railroad 

Commissioners, 293, 294 
California culture, 283-291 passim 
Call, George W., 12 
Camp, W. B., 212, 213, 215, 219 
Canncrs League, 212 
Cannon, Franklin, 178, 179 
Carmany, John, 55 



Carranco, Lynwood and Estlc Beard, 
Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley 
Wars of Northern California, rev., 152 

Carroll, James, 295, 297 

Carroll, Lewis, 205, 206 

Casals, Pablo, 96-97 

Casco (vcs.), 84 

( )aughey,John, 162 

Cayo, Ronald, 104 

Chamber of Commerce, 212, 214, 216, 219 

Chandler, Raymond, 207 

Chao, Wing, 106, in, 113, 114 

"The Chapel at Fort Ross: Its History and 
Reconstruction," by Diane Spencer- 
Hancock and William E. Pritchard, 2-17 

Charles Hopper and the Pilgrims of the Pacific: 
A 1841 California Pioneer, His Narrative 
and Other Documents, ed. by Franklin 
Beard, rev., 308 

"Charles M. Scannon: From Seaman to 
Civilized Whaler to Naturalist," by 
Lyndall B. Landauer, 46-57 

Chase, Evelyn H., Mountain Climber: 
George B. Bayley, 1840-1894, rev., 307 

Chase, Frank F., 33 

Chicago World's Fair (1892), 121-139 

Chrysopolis (vcs.), 267 

Citrus Machinery Company, 34 

Citrus packing equipment, 25-35 passim 

Civilian Conservation Corps, 96 

Clancy, W. B., 30 

Clapp, Louise, 23 

Clark, Ann, no 

Clark, David, Los Angeles: A City Apart, 
rev., 58, 60-61 

Coan, Eugene, James Graham Cooper: 
Pioneer Western Naturalist, rev., 307 

Cogswell, Henry D., 196, 207 

Cole, Mrs. (dress shop proprietor in 
San Francisco, 1851), 18, 21 

Cole, (BrakemanoftheOu'/, 1902), 296, 298 

Columbian World's Fair Atlas, 134 

Commercial Los Angeles, 1925-1947, comp. 
by Bill Bradley, rev., 64, 67 

Commissioner of Transportation, 294 

Comstock, David A., Gold Diggers and 
Camp Followers: The Nevada County 
Chronicles, 1845-1851, rev., 308 

Coolbrith, Ina, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 92, 201 

Cope, Edward, 55 

Coutz, John, 280 

Crawford and Fay Machine Shop, 29 

Crites, G. S., 295 

Cunningham, Robert B., 270 

Curtis, James R., "New Chicago of the Far 
West: Land Speculation in Alviso, 
California, 1890-1891," 36-45 

Curtis, Charles C, 121, 123, 131-134 

Cutter, J. H., 91 

Dall, William H., 49, 51 

Darby, A. C, 39 

Davidson, J., 297 

December's Child: A Book of Chumash Oral 
Narratives, coll. by J. P. Harrington, ed. 
by Thomas C. Blackburn, rev., 149-150 

Dedrick, Claire T., 105, 106 

Delano, Alonzo, 19 

DcMille, Cecil B., 209 

Derby, George, 200 

Dezey, Mabel, 295 

Diaries, Gold Rush, 162-187 passim 

Dickens, Charles, 51 

Dickey, Dayton, 131 

Dickson, Samuel, quoted, 87 

"Disney's Independence Lake Project: A 
Case Study of California's Environ- 
mental Review Process," by Douglas H. 
Strong, 100-119 

Dittrich, Henry, 40 

Dixon, Maynard, 200, 208 

Dolan (Conductor of the Owl, 1902), 296 

Donley, Michael W. et al. , Atlas of 
California, rev., 68 

Doten, Alfred, 19 

Douglas City, 189 

Dow Chemical Co., 113 

Downey, John G., 267, 268 

"Drake" (play), 96 

"Duelling Skis," byj. H. Hildcbrand, 

Dunbar, F. N., 30 

Duncan, C. F., 297 

Dunsany, Lord, 95 

Dust bowl refugees, 211 

Earthquake, San Francisco (1906), 9, 12 

Egan, Ferol, rev. of Becker, The Plains and 

the Rockies: A Bibliography of Narratives of 

Exploration, Travel and Adventure, 

1800-1865, 22 7 
Elite Restaurant, Los Angeles, 34 
Elsasser, Albert B. and Robert F. Heizer, 

The Natural World of the California 

Indians, rev., 151 
Emerson, Edward Waldo, 92 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 88, 89, 91, 92 
Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New 

American West, by Peter Wiley and 

Robert Gottlieb, rev., 227-228 
Environmental review process, 101-119 

Erwin, Leonard, 295, 298 
Evans, Albert S., quoted, 82 
Evans, EdgarJ., 218, 219 

Fairley, Lincoln, "Literary Associations 

with Mt. Tamalpais," 82-99 
Farallone Islands, 51, 52 
Farnham, Eliza, 22 
Feather River, 173, 175, 178, 181. 187 
Fender, Stephen, Plotting the Golden West: 

American Literature and the Rhetoric of the 

California Trail, rev., 306 
Female Reform Society. Oberlin College, 

2 3 
Flanner, Janet, 209 
Folger(J. A.) Company, 133 
Folsom, Joseph L., 302 
Food Machinery Corporation, 31, 33, 34 
Fort Ross, 2-17 
Fox, Stephen, fohn Muir and His Legacy: 

The American Conservation Movement, 

rev., 146-148 
Franks, Mattie, 297 
Fremont, John Charles. 283 
French, Harold. 84. 85 
Friends of the Earth, 114 
"From Condemnation to Praise: Shifting 

Perspectives on Hispanic ( California," 

by DavidJ. Langum. 282-291 
Front Page: 100 Years 0/ the Los Angeles 

limes, 1881-1981. rev . 63 
Fukuzawa, Yukichi, 266. 267. 279. 271. 

2 74- 275 
I uller, David L... 164 


California History 

Gaines, Ruth, 165 

( Limbic, Austin, 29 

Garnett, Porter, 198, 201, 204, 208-209 

Gates, Paul Wallace, 36 

Geiger, Howard, 219 

"General Noble" (tree), 120-139 passim 

Genini, Ronald, rev. of Beard, Charles 
I {opper and the Pilgrims of the Pacific, 308; 
Chase, Mountain Climber: George B. 
Bay ley, 1840-1894, 307; Coan, James 
( Graham Cooper: Pioneer Western Natural- 
ist, 307; Comstock, Gold Diggers and 
Camp Followers, 308; Fender, Plotting the 
Golden West, 306; Hildebrand Borax 
Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith, 308; Latta, 
Joaquin Murrieta and His Horse Gangs, 
307-308; Sargent, Seeking the Elephant, 
1849, 306-307; Westreich, The Stow 
Affair, 308 

Gennosuke (sailor on the Kanrin Maru), 

Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley 
Wars of Northern California, by Lynwood 
Carranco and Estle Beard, rev., 152 

"The Giants and the Mountain — Mining 
Machines Make a Highway," by Dewey 
and Nola Mosier, 188-195 

Gifford, E. W. and A. L. Kroeber, Karok 
Myths, rev., 148-150 

Gilbert, W. S., 205, 206 

Gleason, Duncan and Dorothy, comps., 
Beloved Sister: The Letters of James Henry 
Gleason, 1841 to 1859, rev., 146 

"The Gods of the Mountain" (play) by 
Lord Dunsany, 95 

Gold Diggers and Camp Followers: The 
Nevada Comity Chronicles, 1 845-185 1 , by 
David A. Comstock, rev., 308 

Gold mining technology, 174 

Gold production (1 848-1 849), 172 

Gold Rush, 162-187 passim 

Golden Gate (ves.), 51 

Golden Gate Bridge, 302-305 passim 

Goodrich, Jennie, Claudia Lawson and 
Vana Parrish Lawson, Kashaya Porno 
Plants, rev., 151 

Goodson, L. Frank, 107, III, 113, 116 

Gottlieb, Robert and Peter Wiley, Empires 
in the Sun: The Rise of the New American 
West, rev., 227-228 

Graham, Tom, 1 10 

Grant, Campbell, 51 

Grapes oj Wrath by John Steinbeck, 
banning of, 21 1-221 passim 

"Great Expectations — William Swain, 
J. S. Holliday, and The World Rushed 
In," byjamesj. Rawls, 162-167 

Grundinin, Vasily, 9 

Gunn, Elizabeth, 21, 22, 24 

Haggin and Tevis, Land Developers, 255 

Haggin, James, B., 242, 246 

Hahn, Emily, 202 

Hammett, Dashiell, 207 

Hammond, George P., rev. of Gleason, 

Beloved Sister: The Letters of James Henry 

Gleason, 1841 to 1859, 145 
Hanna, Phil Townsend, "Will the Bay 

Bridges End San Francisco's Isolation?", 

Harrington, J. P., collector and Thomas C. 

Blackburn, ed., December's Child: A 

Book ofChumash Oral Narratives, rev., 

Hart, James D., 167 
Hart, W. H. H.,43 

Harte, Bret, 51, 85, 87, 201, 204, 284, 289 
Harty, C. W., 216, 219 
Hasbrouck, Lydia Sayer, 13 
Hazelwood, F. W., 191, 195 
Heizer, Robert F. and Albert B. Elsasser, 

The Natural World of the California 

Indians, rev., 151 
Helper, Hinton Rowan, 167 
Henderson, R. W., 215, 218 
Henstell, Bruce, Los Angeles, An Illustrated 

History, rev., 61 
Hermann, Theresa, 96 
"The Hermitage" (poem) by Edward 

Rowland Sill, 84, 85 
Hesperian (newspaper), San Francisco, 24 
Hicks, Bob, 102, 104, 105, 106 
Highway 299, construction of, 189-199 

Hildebrand, George, Borax Pioneer: Francis 

Marion Smith, rev., 308 
Hildebrand, J. H., "Duelling Skis," 


Hispanic Californios, images of, 283-291 

The History of the Los Angeles County 
Hospital (1878-1968) and the Los Angeles 
County-University of Southern California 
Medical Center ( 1968-1978), by Helen 
Eastman Martin, M.D., rev., 64 

Hod Carriers Union, 215 

Hoffman, Emory Gay, 213, 214, 219 

Holliday, J. S., "In the Diggings," 
168-187; 162-167 passim 

Holme, Garnett, 96 

Holmes, Julia Archibald, 24 

Hosie, Ellen, 297 

Howe, J. B., 271 

Howell, James, 96 

Hucknall Torkard Church (England), 88 

Hudson Bay Company, 4 

Hughes, Elizabeth, 289 

Hummel, John, 113 

Huntington, Collis P., 246 

Huntington Library, J. Goldsborough 
Bruff Collection, 164 

Hutchinson, Michael, 173, 178, 186 

Hutchinson, William, 162 

Immigration into California (1848-1852), 

"In the Diggings," byj. S. Holliday, 

Independence Lake Project, Walt Disney 

Productions, 101-119 
International Hotel, San Francisco, 267 
Interstate Commerce Commission, 294 
Irving, Jules, 95 

Irwin, Charles N., ed., The Shoshoni 
Indians of Inyo County, California: The 
Kerr Manuscript, rev . , 1 50-1 5 1 
Irwin, Will, 131 
Jackson, Helen Hunt, 285 
James, George Wharton, 286, 287 
James Graham Cooper: Pioneer Western 

Naturalist, by Eugene Coan, rev., 307 
James, Henry, 203, 209 
Jamison, (Captain), 131 
Japan, diplomatic relations with U.S. 

( 1 860) , 264-275 passim 
The Japanese Embassy (musical review), 



Japanese in San Francisco (i860), 264-275 

Jeffers, Robinson, 206 
Lesjeunes, 200, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 

Joaquin Murricta and His Horse Gangs, by 

Frank Latta, rev., 307-308 
Joffrey Ballet, 96 

John Bean Manufacturing Company, 34 
John Muir and His Legacy: The American 

Conservation Movement, by Stephen Fox, 

rev., 146-148 
Johnson, Bruce L., "California Check 

List," 153-156, 229-232, 309-312 
Johnson, Huey, 116 
Joshua Hendy Company, 191 
Junction City, 189 

Kahn, Albert E., quoted, 96-97 
Kamerling, Bruce, rev. of McCall, Cali- 
fornia Artists IQ35 to 1956, 69-71 
Kanrin Mam (ves.), 264-275 passim 
Kappel, Tim, "Trampling on the Vineyards 

— Kern County's Ban on the Grapes of 

Wrath," 210-221 
Karok Myths, by A. L. Kroeber and E. W. 

Gifford, rev., 148-150 
Kashaya Porno Indians, 6 
Kashaya Porno Plants, by Jennie Goodrich, 

Claudia Lawson and Vana Parrish 

Lawson, rev., 151 
Kaweah Colony, Visalia, 131-132 
Keech, Dana, 33, 34 
Keio University, Tokyo, 266, 272 
Keith, William, 85, 93, 97, 201 
Keller, Archie, 295 
Kemble, Fanny, 21 
Kent, William, 92, 93, 96 
Kern County, 121 

Book banning, 210-221 

Photographs of (1888), 242-263 passim 
"A Kern County Diary: The Forgotten 

Photographs of Carlcton E. Watkins, 

1881-1888," by Richard Steven Street, 

Kern County Land Company, 255, 260 
Kern, E. M., 264 
Kerr, Lewis C, 296 

Kibbee, Guy, 96 

Kimball, Thomas L., 102-103 

Kimura, Yoshitake, 264, 266, 267, 268, 

269, 270,271, 273, 274 
Kipling, Rudyard, 202, 204 
Knight, Emerson, 96 
Kroeber, A. L. and E. W. Gifford, Karok 

Myths, rev., 148-150 
Kuskov, Ivan A., 6 
La Follette, Robert, 216 
La Grange Mine, 189, 191, 192 
La Mesa Packing Company, Riverside, 30 
LaPena, Frank and Craig D. Bates, 

comps.. Legends of the Yosemite Miwok, 

rev., 150 
Ladd, Horace, 173 
Lake Tahoe Basin, 103 
Lamar, Howard, 162 
Lancaster, Robert G., 113, 115 
Land speculation, 36-45 passim 
Landauer, Lyndall B., "Charles M. 

Scammon: From Seaman to Civilized 

Whaler to Naturalist," 46-57 
Langum, DavidJ., "From Condemnation 

to Praise: Shifting Perspectives on 

Hispanic California," 282-291 
The Lark, 203, 204, 205, 206, 208-209 
Larkin, Thomas O., 302 
Lavendar, David, Los Angeles, Two 

Hundred Years, rev., 58, 60-61 
Lavin, Ralph, 215, 219, 220 
Latta, Frank, Joaquin Murrieta and His Horse 

Gangs, rev., 307-308 
Law for the Elephant, by John Phillip Reid, 

rev., 68-69 
Lawson, Claudia, Vana Parrish Lawson 

and Jennie Goodrich, Kashaya Porno 

Plants, rev., 151 
Lawson, Vana Parrish, Jennie Goodrich, 

and Claudia Lawson, Kashaya Porno 

Plants, rev., 151 
Lear, Edward, 205, 206 
Lee, Eugene, 295, 297 
Lee, Lawrence B., rev. of Fox, John Muir 

and His Legacy: The American Conservation 

Movement, 146-148 
Lee, Sou, 296-298 
Legends of the Yosemite Miwok, comp. by 

Frank LaPena and Craig D. Bates, rev., 


Leisz, Doug, 102, 105-106 

Lewis, Austin, 91 

Lewis, Oscar, San Francisco: Missioti to 

Metropolis, rev., 71 
The Lily (newspaper), Seneca Falls, N.Y., 

"Literary Associations with Mt. Tamal- 

pais," by Lincoln Fairley, 82-99 
Lo, the Poor Indian: A Saga of the Suisun 

Indians of California, by Ethel Matson 

Read, rev., 152 
Locke, John Raymond, 215 
London, Jack, 91, 93, 200 
Long's Bar (mining camp), 173, 179 
Long's Trading Post, 173, 178 
Los Angeles, A City Apart, by David Clark, 

rev., 58, 60-61 
Los Angeles, An Illustrated History , by Bruce 

Henstell, rev., 61 
Los Angeles: The Enormous Village 

I78i-ig8t, by John C. Weaver, rev., 

Los Angeles, Two Hundred Years, by I )avid 

Lavendar, rev., 58, 60-61 
Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 286, 287 
Lundborg, Florence, 198, 203, 204, 208 
Lynn, David, 138 

McCall, Dewitt Clinton III, California 

Artists IQ15 to 1956, rev.. 69-71 
"Machines in the Garden: A Citrus 

Monopoly in Riverside, 1900-1936." 

by Vincent Moses, 26-35 
McClellan, W. IX, 138 
McCloskey, Michael, no 
McCord, Louisa, 24 
McGloin, John B , S. J., rev. ofLewis, San 

Francisco: Mission to Metropolis, 71 
McGraw. DonaldJ., "The Tree that 

Crossed a Continent," 120-139 
McGuirc, James. 296. 298 
McGuirc, John, 104 
MacKaye, Pen v. 95-96 
McKmstry, Elisha W., 289 
McWilhams. Carey, 89, 215 
Mail system. Gold rush, 175-176 
Mallarme, Stcphanc, 205 
Manjiro, Nakahama. 264. 266. 267. 268. 

269, 272 


California History 

Marc Island Naval Yard, 270, 271. 272 
Margolin, Malcolm, cd.. The Way We 

Lived: California Indian Reminiscences, 

Stories and Songs, rev., 150 
Market Street, San Francisco, 196 
Markham, Edwin, 200 
Martin, Helen Eastman, M.D., The 

I listory of the Los Angeles County 

Hospital ( 1878-1968) and the Los Angeles 

County-l University of Southern California 

Medical Center (1968-1978), rev., 64 
Martinez, Xavier, 200 
Masefield, John, quoted, 82; 96 
Mathes, W. Michael, "Sources in Mexico 

for the History of Spanish California," 

Maude's (A.C.) Stationery Store, 

Bakersfield, 246, 255 
Mechanics' Institute Industrial Fair, San 

Francisco (1889), 255 
Mexicans, San Francisco, 284 
Middleton and Sharon, 43 
Millard, Bailey, 91 
Miller, Elizabeth Smith, 19, 21 
Miller, Joaquin, 51, 86, 88, 93, 95, 201 
Mills College, 23 
Mills, Cyrus, 23 
Mills, Enos, 93 
Mills, Susan, 23 
Milne, Robert Duncan, 201 
Mitchell, Burr, 123, 131 
Mollenkopf, Jacquelyn, "The Byron Rail 

Disaster," 292-301 
Moore, Samuel J., 178, 179 
Moose, James M., Jr., 108 
Moreau, Leon, 96 
Morrow, W. C, 201 
Moses, Vincent, "Machines in the Garden: 

A Citrus Monopoly in Riverside, 

1900-1936," 26-35 
Mosier, Dewey and Nola, "The Giants 

and the Mountain — Mining Machines 

Make a Highway," 188-195 
Mount Lola, 102, 104 
Mt. Tamalpais, literary associations, 82-99 

Mountain Climber: George B. Baylcy, 
1840-1894, by Evelyn H. Chase, 

rev., 307 
Muir, John, 92, 93 

Mutual Orange Distributors (Pure Gold), 


Nahl, Arthur, 200 
Nahl, Charles, 200 
Nathan, Marvin, "San Francisco's Fin de 

Siecle Bohemian Renaissance," 196-209 
National Environment Policy Act (1969), 

National Orange Company, 33 
National Women's Rights Convention, 

Cincinnati (1855), 23 
The Natural World of the California Indians, 

by Robert F. Heizer and Albert B. 

Elsasser, rev., 151 
Nevada, Emma, 96 

New Archangel, Alaska see Sitka, Alaska 
"New Chicago of the Far West: Land 

Speculation in Alviso, California, 

1890-1891," by James R. Curtis, 36-45 
New Chicago Plan, 37-45 passim 
New Helvetia, Sacramento Valley, 12 
Nightingale (ves.), 50 
Noble, John, 122 
Noguchi, Yoni, 208 
Norris, Frank, 198, 200, 209 
Norris, Kathleen Thompson, quoted, 94, 


Norton, Joshua, 271 

Nunis, Dick, 1 14 

Nunis, Doyce B.,Jr., "Books Commem- 
orating the Bicentennial of the Founding 
of Los Angeles," 58-67 

Oberlin College, Female Reform 

Seminary, 23 
O'Connell, Daniel, 85, 87, 89, 94 
O'Connor, J. E.,90 
Oil Workers Union, Local 19, 215 
The Old Plaza Church: A Documentary 

History, by Msgr. FrancisJ. Weber, 

rev., 63 
Olufs, Clarence, 295, 298 
Oneida Community, 21, 25 
Oregon City, 195 
Oregon Gulch, 191 

Oregon Mountain, 189, 191, 192 

Oregon Mountain hydraulic project, 192 

Oregon Ridge, 191 

Overland Monthly, 5 1-52 

Owens, Charles, 295, 298 

Owl Limited (train), collision with Stockton 

Flyer (train), 292-301 passim 
Pacific Coast Women's Press Association, 

Pacific Lumber Company, 137 
Page, Elizabeth, 166 
Page, Henry, 166 
Palmquist, Peter, 247 
Panama (ves.), 171 
Parker, George, 26-35 passim 
Parker Machine Works, 29, 30 
Patterson, Tom, 30 
Paul, Rodman, 162 
Paxton, Hale, 29, 33, 34, 35 
Paxton Nailing Machine Company, 35 
Payeras, Father Mariano, 4, 1 1 
Payson, George, 167 
Peixotto, Ernest, 198, 203, 204, 206, 208, 

Pellet, Sarah, 23 
Pcnniman, George A., 39 
Picasso, Pablo, 209 
Pioneer Brush Company, 34 
Pitt, Leonard, 286 
Pixley, Morrison F., 91 
The Plains and the Rockies: A Bibliography of 

Narratives of F.xploration , Travel and 

Adventure, 1800-1865, by Robert H. 

Becker, rev., 227 
Planning and Conservation League, 1 14 
Plotting the Golden West: American Literature 

and the Rhetoric of the California Trail, by 

Stephen Fender, rev., 306 
Plover Bay, Alaska, 50 
Plumas County, skiing introduced, 277 
Podovinnickoff, Nick, 219 
Pointer, Priscilla, 95 
Polk, Willis, 198,208 
Porter, Bruce, 197, 198, 199,200,202,203, 

204, 206, 207, 209 
Post, A. J., 297 
Potter, David M., 165-166 
Powhatan (ves.), 264, 271, 272 
Pratt, James, 173 
Pntchard, William E. and I )iane Spencer- 



Hancock, "The Chapel at Fort Ross: Its 
History and Reconstruction," 2-17 
'The Purple Cow" (poem), by Gelett 
Burgess, 204, 209 

Quan, Long, 296, 298 

Railroad safety, 293-300 passim 
Boiler Inspection Act of 191 1, 300 
Hours of Service Act of 1907, 300 
Legislation in California, 294, 300 
Safety Appliances Act of 1893, 294, 300 
Transportation Act of 1920, 300 

Rankin, Bertha, 219 

Rawls, James J., "Creat Expectations — 
William Swain, J. S. Holliday, and The 
World Rushed In, " 162-167 

Rea, John W., 39 

Read, Ethel Mason, Lo, the Poor Indian: A 
Saga of the Suisun Indians of California, 
rev., 152 

Read, Georgia W., 165 

Reid.John Phillip, Law for the Elephant, 
rev., 68-69; '64 

Rezanov, Nikolai P., 6 

Richards, John, 39 

Ridge, John Rollin, 200 

Rinatro, Katsu, 264, 271, 273, 274 

River, Harbor, Canal Dredging and Land 
Company, 41, 43 

Riverside, citrus industry, 26-3 5 passim 

Riverside Sheet Metal Works, 32 

Roberts and Huntington Company, 34 

Roberts, Austin and Darby (San Jose Real 
Estate Firm), 43 

Roberts, Charles E., rev. of Carranco and 
Beard, Genocide and Vendetta: The Round 
Valley Wars of Northern California; 
December's Child: A Book of'Chumash 
Oral Narratives: Goodrich, Lawson and 
Lawson, Kashaya Porno Plants; Heizer 
and Elsasser, The Natural World of the 
California Indians; Irwin, ed., The 
Shoshoni Indians of Inyo County: The Kerr 
Manuscript; Kroebcr and Gifford, Karok 
Myths; LaPena and Bates, comps., 

Legends of the Yosemite Miwok; Margolin , 
ed., The Way We Lived: California Indian 
Reminiscences, Stories and Songs; Read, 
Lo, the Poor Indian: A Saga of the Suisun 
Indians of California, 148-152 

Roberts, J. C, 39 

Rogers, James R., 30 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 209 

Roosevelt, Theodore, 92 

Root, John, 173 

Rowcll, Chester H., 297-297 

Royall, Anne, 24 

Russian American Company, 4, 9, 12 

Russian Orthodox Congregation, San 
Francisco, 13 

Ryder, Arthur W., 95 

Sacramento City, 171, 172, 175, 179, 182, 

(< 183, 187 

"Sacred Grove on Mountain Tamalpais" 

(ballet), 96 
"The San Diego Historical Society 

Research Archives," by Sylvia Arden, 

San Francisco, description of (1849), 171, 

175; isolation of, 302-305; Japanese in 

( 1 860) , 264-275 passim 
San Francisco: Mission to Metropolis, by 

Oscar Lewis, rev., 71 
San Francisco-Oakland Bridge, 302-305 

San Francisco-San Jose Railroad, 38 
San Francisco Symphony Association, 96 
"San Francisco's Fin de Siecle Bohemian 

Renaissance," by Marvin R. Nathan, 

San Jose Board ofTrade, 41, 43 
San Jose Daily Mercury, 42 
San Jose Watch Factory, 44 
Sargent, Shirley, ed., Seeking the Elephant, 

1849: James M. Hutchings' Overland 
Journal, rev. 306-307 
Saroyan, William, 207 
Scammon, Charles M., 47-57 passim 
Scheffaur, Herman, 91 
Schenk, Gretchen, 214, 220 
Schu, Charles, 297 

Schutt, Harold, 134 

Schwartz, C. J., 297 

Skiing in California, 276-281 

Seal Islands, Alaska, 51 

Sebastopol (1874), 52 

Seeking the Elephant, 1849: James M. 

Hutchings' Overland Journal , ed. by 

Shirley Sargent, rev., 306-307 
Sells, Ogden, 34 
Semple, Robert, 302 
Senator (ves.), 172 
Sessions, Charles A., 295, 298 
Shannon, Harry, 137 
Shaw, William, 167 
Sherman, Edwin A., 23 
Shew Theodora Alice, 271-272, 275 
Shew, William, 272 
Shively, R.O.,43 
Short, Frank, 297 
The Shoshoni Indians of Inyo County, 

California: The Kerr Manuscript , ed. by 

Charles N. Irwin, rev., 1 50-1 51 
Sibyl (newspaper, New York, 23, 24 
Sierra Club, Mother Lode Chapter, 108- 

1 10, 114, 115 
Sierra County Conservation Club, 109-1 10 
Sierra County Planning Commission, 104 
Sierra Pacific Power Company, 102 
Sill, Edward Rowland, 84, 85, 92 
Sitka, Alaska, 4, 6, 8, 9 
Smith and Moore Company, 123, 132-133 
Smith, James E., 107 
Smithson, Weltha, 218 
"Sources m Mexico for the I hstorv of 

Spanish California," by W. Michael 

Mathes, 223-226 
Spencer-Hancock, Diane and William E. 

Pritchard, "The Chapel at fort Ross: Its 

History and Reconstruction." 2-17 
Sprague-Sells Corporation, 34 
Soulc, Frank, 20 
South Pacific Coast Railroad, 38 
Southern Pacific Land Company. 102, 

104, 105 
Southern Pacific Railroad, 212 
Standard Oil of California, 212 
Stanton, Elizabeth (lady. 21. 24 
Starr, Kevin, 162, 203, 283 
Stebler, Fred, 27-}$ passim 
Stebler-ParkerCo., 30, 31 


California History 

Steinbeck, fohn, 206-207, 211, 216, 218, 

Sterling, George, 91, 200 
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 82, 84, 85, 93, 

199, 202, 288, 289 
Steward, Frank, 277 
Stewart, George, 162 
Stockton, 171, 172 
Stockton Gannery Workers' Strike (1937), 

Stockton Flyer (train), collision with Owl 

Limited (train), 292-301 passim 
Stoddard, Charles Warren, 83, 85, 86, 87, 

89, 92, 93, 97, 201 
Stone, Lucy, 23 
The Stow Affair: Anti-Semitism in the 

California Legislature, by Budd 

Westreich, rev., 308 
Street, Richard Steven, "A Kern County 

Diary: The Forgotten Photographs of 

Carleton E. Watkins, 1881-1888," 242- 

Strong, Douglas H., "Disney's Indepen- 
dence Lake Project: A Case Study of 

California's Environmental Review 

Process," 1 00-119 
Strong, Joe, 201 
Stuples, Charlie, 246, 254 
Sutter, John A., 12, 23 
Svenin, Theodor, 11 

Swain, Eliza ("Little Cub"), 175, 177, 187 
Swain, George, 164, 166, 175, 177-187 

Swain, Sabrina, 164, 166, 167, 175, 177, 

Swain, William, 162-197 passim 
Sweet (S.) and Company, Visalia, 134 

Table Rock Snowshoe Club, 278 
"Tamalpa" (play) by Dan Totheroh, 95 
"Tamalpais" (poem) by Charles Warren 

Stoddard, 85-86. 
Tamalpais Conservation Club, 91 
Tavernier, Jules, 201 
Taylor, Edward B., 91 
Temple, W. F., 295, 298 
Tenneco West, Inc., 260 

TerraScan, 110 

Teschemacher, Henry F., 266, 268, 269, 

Tevis, Lloyd, 246 
Thelen, Max, 300 
Thompson, James A., 91 
Thompson, James A. ("Snow-shoe"), 

276, 277, 279, 280, 281 
"A Thousand Years Ago" (pageant-play) 

by Percy MacKaye, 95-96 
Tingling, Marion, "Bloomerism Comes 

to California," 18-25 
Todd, Tommy, 277 
Tompkins, Juliet Wilbor, 208 
Totheroh, Dan, 95 
Townley, John M., rev. ofReid, Law for 

the Elephant, 68-69 
"Trampling out the Vineyards — Kern 

County's Ban on The Grapes of Wrath, " 

by Tim Kappel, 210-221 
"The Tree that Crossed a Continent," by 

DonaldJ. McGraw, 120-139 
Trinity River, 189 
Tulare County, 121 
Tung, Tai Gong, 296, 298 
Turnll, C. B., 255 
Tuthill, Franklin, 284 
Tuthill, Richard M., 114 
Twain, Mark, 51, 85, 93, 201 

Unitarian Church, San Francisco, 198 
United States, diplomatic relations with 

Japan, (i860), 264-275 passim 
United States Forest Service, 102-104 
United States Post Office, 175 
University of California, Berkeley, 198 
Urmy, Clarence, 89 

Valdor, Camp 25, 195 
Vallejo, Francisca Benicia, 302 
Vallejo, M. G., 302 
Veniaminov, Father loann, 4, 9, 11 
"The Voyage of the Kanrin Mam to San 
Francisco," by Dana B. Young, 264-275 

Walker, E. Cardon, 103-104, 106 

Walker, Franklin, 85,287 

Washington, George (cook), 298 

Watkins, Carleton E., 242-263 passim 

Way We Lived: California Indian Remi- 
niscences, Stgories and Songs , ed. by 
Malcolm Margolin, rev., 150 

Weber, Msgr. FrancisJ., ed., The Old 
Plaza Church, A Documentary History, 
rev., 63 

Weaver, John C, Los Angeles: The 

Enormous Village 17^7-1981, rev., 61-63 

Weaverville, 189 

Webb, Charles, 201 

Wells, Carolyn, 208 

Werner Company, Chicago, 132-133 

Westreich, Budd, The Stow Affair: Anti- 
Semitism in the California Legislature , 
rev., 308 

Whales, natural history of, 47-57 passim 

Whaling, 47-57 passim 

Wheeler, Benjamin Ide, 86 

Wheeler, P. H., 38, 44 

Wilde, Oscar, 199, 201, 203, 205, 206 

Wilderness Society, 114 

Wiley, Peter and Robert Gottlieb, Empires 
in the Sun: The Rise of the New American 
West, rev., 227-228 

"Will the Bay Bridges End San Francisco's 
Isolation?" by Phil Townsend Hanna, 

Wilson, R. N.,212 

Wimmer, Charles, 216, 219 

Wolfe, Linnie Marsh, quoted, 93 

Wollenberg, Charles, rev. ot Wiley and 
Gottlieb, Empires in the Sun: The Rise of 
the New American West, 227-228 

Wolverine Rangers, 164, 173, 177 

Woodward, Frank, 277 

Woolomes, W. R., 216, 218 

Workers Alliance, 215, 218, 219 

World's Columbia Exposition, (1892), 
121-11,9 passim 

Yeats, William Butler, 203 

Yosemite, 92 

Young, Dana B., "The Voyage of the 

Kanrin Maru to San Francisco," 264-275 
Young Men's Society Ball, 183 


THE CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, founded in 1871, is a statewide, non-profit educational institution 
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